There are few things that go best with cold Winter days like a pot of soup, chili, Bisque, Chowder -you get my drift- simmering on the stove. There is something so nostalgic about the aromas of such filling the home on those bitter cold days. I have several favorites that I’ve compiled and look forward to sharing with you. This one is my favorite. What’s better is this is so easily doubled and frozen! Perfect for pulling from the freezer, thawing and re-simmering for those house guests I’m sure you’ll be having throughout the Holidays.
This recipe is one that was adapted from similar ones I’ve tried over the years. I’ve never been much of a recipe follower; I enjoy playing in the kitchen, always making adjustments to make them my own. I wanted to make this one a bit healthier too and cut back on sodium. After many changes, I perfected the texture and taste I was going for with this one. I call this a chowder because of the amount of Corn I use. We love corn in this house so I actually add double the amount that I have listed in the recipe.
This recipe is so easily adaptable to suit your personal taste. I’ve made a few notes in the ingredient list as well as the instructions, to make adapting a little easier.
Buffalo Chicken Chowder
1lb. Ground Chicken
1 T mild Olive or Grapeseed Oil
1 Small Onion (diced)
1 Small Stalk celery (diced)
1-3 cloves fresh garlic (diced)-optional
A Dash of Red Pepper Flakes-to desired degree of heat
T Onion Powder
1 tsp Celery Salt
Black Pepper, to taste
2- 14.5 oz. cans Navy or Great Northern (white kidney) Beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer the reduced sodium)
2 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted tomatoes with garlic (You can use the plain, without garlic if you chose to use fresh) I prefer the fresh garlic.
1-32 oz. carton Chicken Stock (Stock, not Broth is important. Stock adds more flavor and contains much less sodium)
1 Package Ranch Dressing Powder (organic, non MSG is my preference)
1 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce-more or less, to desired spiciness
1 T fresh or freeze-dried (you can find this in grocers produce section) Cilantro
6 oz Frozen White Corn Kernels
1-8 oz tub Whipped Cream Cheese (room temp)
Heat oil in large Dutch Oven. Add diced onion and celery and cook just until slightly translucent. Add ground chicken, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Brown completely, crumbling and stirring frequently. This mix n chop tool is my favorite tool for breaking up the ground chicken into perfect bite size pieces.
Add garlic and cook a minute more.
Add in all remaining ingredients, except for the cream cheese. If you chose dried cilantro, I highly recommend using this. I find that the regular dried herbs have very little flavor. This stuff is amazingly fresh and makes such a difference. I even use this, reconstituted in a little water, as a garnish if I’m out of fresh.
Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
At this point add in the entire container of whipped cream cheese in spoonful dollops. Allow to melt into soup a bit before stirring, about 2 minutes.
Stir slowly until all cheese is melted and incorporated throughout. This is one reason I love the whipped cream cheese as opposed to the block style. It melts so well and doesn’t leave weird little chunks the way the block style does. Plus, it has a lower fat content! Win Win.
Cover and simmer on low heat for at least one hour, or up to 4, stirring frequently.
Some great garnish options for this Chowder are:
Bleu Cheese Crumble
Sharp Cheddar Crumbles
Happy Good Eats!! If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear your feedback!
Until Next Time,