When the weather turns crisp outside, there’s nothing cozier than a piping hot bowl of chicken corn chowder. It’s filling, full of flavor, and super simple to make. This fall dish is perfect for get-togethers or a night in with family.
What is Chicken Corn Chowder?
It really adds something special to this dish if you can get some late-season fresh corn, but frozen corn works just as well. Oh, and the bacon!
Bacon ramps this recipe up to the next level when it comes to flavor, as bacon tends to do. Pair this soup with some fresh bread, and you’ve got the ultimate comfort meal for cooler weather.
What is Chicken Corn Chowder?
Chicken corn chowder is essentially a thick soup. Corn really is the star of the show in this recipe, adding a sweet flavor that contrasts wonderfully with the salty bacon and chicken breasts. This corn chowder is thicker than traditional soup. How do we achieve that hearty consistency? With roux – flour and fat cooked together, thicken up the liquid ingredients making this dish one that will warm you from the inside out.
- Bacon – Salt-cured pork that packs a flavor punch makes corn chowder even more delicious.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast – Cooked properly, this lean chicken cut is juicy, tender, and flavorful.
- Butter – This delicious ingredient will add extra flavor to this chowder and keep your onions and garlic from sticking to the pan as you saute them to perfection.
- Onion – Diced onion, sauteed to delicious sweetness, becomes soft, translucent, and fragrant, adding another layer of savory flavor to this dish.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic will give the whole dish a mouthwatering aroma and an extra kick of flavor to boot.
- Celery – Always popular in soups and stews, celery is an aromatic vegetable with earthy notes and an overall bold flavor.
- Thyme – Minty and earthy, with just a hint of sweetness, fresh thyme adds some serious flavor to any dish and mixes well with other herbs. If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried thyme works well too.
- Bay Leaf – With its tea-like aroma, just a single bay leaf will add even more depth of flavor to this dish.
- Creole Seasoning – One of my all-time favorite spice mixes of all time, creole seasoning gives any dish a real kick of heat.
- Flour – This pantry staple will give our corn chowder that signature, extra-thick texture.
- Water – We need this ingredient to provide volume to our chowder. You can replace it with chicken broth for an even more flavorful chowder.
- Heavy Cream – Cream is the thick part of the milk that rises to the top. Its high-fat content makes soups and chowders extra creamy and decadent.
- Frozen Corn – Frozen corn is much crispier and more flavorful than canned corn. It also adds a subtle sweetness that is super delicious.
- Carrot – A root vegetable with earthy notes and a hint of sweetness is the perfect complement to this savory dish.
- Potatoes – Starchy and delicious, this chowder wouldn’t be complete without a few cups of cubed potatoes.
- Salt and Pepper – Household must-have spices that bring flavor and mild heat to any recipe.
- Chives or Green Onions – These green herbs have a mild flavor, similar to green onions, and are the perfect garnish for corn chowder.
- Veggies – If you don’t have fresh veggies or herbs on hand, you could substitute frozen or canned veggies and dried herbs.
- Cream – If you’d like to make this recipe dairy-free, substitute butter with olive oil and heavy cream with coconut milk or soy milk. Keep in mind these swap-outs will affect the flavor of the dish.
Tips and Tricks
Always start by cooking the bacon! Browning your chicken afterward in a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease does amazing things for the flavor of this dish.
A cast-iron pan is ideal for making this dish, as it’s one of the healthiest pieces of cookware out there, and it really does add to the depth of flavor.
Stir flour into your sauteed veggies with butter, and let it soak into the butter before adding your liquid ingredients. This will keep the flour from clumping, giving you smooth chowder.
The consistency is up to you here! I love this dish ultra-thick, but if you prefer a thinner consistency, just add water or broth.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve corn chowder as soon as the potatoes are fork-tender. Garnish with bacon and chives for a dish that is flavorful and picture-perfect. Trust me when I say this golden beauty is gonna earn itself a spot on your Instagram feed. 😉
Making Ahead. You can save yourself some stress by making this deliciousness ahead. When it’s done, allow it cool and refrigerate. Then you can reheat the chowder on low the next day for a quick and easy dinner.
Storing Leftovers. You can store any leftover chicken corn chowder in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3-5 days. Yes, you can freeze it, too.
Reheating. Reheat your leftovers stovetop for best results. If you’re pinched for time, the microwave works fine too.
Generally speaking, corn soup is made with a vegetable stock base. It can include other veggies, chicken, and other ingredients, but it’s not very thick. On the other hand, corn chowder is thick and creamy, almost the consistency of a stew.
Traditionally, chowder is thicker than regular soup. But hey, it’s your kitchen, so you get to decide how thick you want your chowder. If you prefer a soup-like consistency, simply add more water or broth until you reach your desired thickness.
Flour and heavy cream are the two key ingredients for a thick, stew-like chowder. Substituting heavy cream for regular milk or soy milk could mean a runnier chowder. If you find your chowder isn’t thick enough, combine a little more flour in a small amount of cool water and slowly stir it into the chowder. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir continuously until it thickens.
What Goes with Chicken Corn Chowder?
Chicken corn chowder also pairs well with salads, such as this delectable Sweet Potato Salad, and can even complement seafood dishes! I like to serve this chicken corn chowder recipe as a starter before the main dish of Lobster Tail for special occasions.
More Corn Recipes to Try
How to Make Chicken Corn Chowder
Prepare the Base
- Cook the Bacon – Cook bacon over medium-high heat for about 5-8 minutes or until crisp in a large cast-iron pan or saucepan. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
- Brown the Chicken Breast – Use a large spoon to remove some bacon grease from your pan, leaving just a tablespoon or two behind. Brown the chicken in the leftover bacon grease for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then remove the chicken from the pan. Set it aside.
- Saute the Onions and Herbs – Add butter to the pan and melt. Then add the diced onions, garlic, celery, creole seasoning, bay leaf, and thyme. Saute for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat until the onions are soft, translucent, and fragrant. Add in the flour and stir for about one minute.
Make the Chowder
- Add the Liquids and Veggies – While whisking the flour into the sauteed vegetables and herbs, pour in the water and increase the heat to medium-high. Pour in the cream next, followed by corn, carrots, potatoes, and chicken, together with its juice.
- Simmer the Chowder – Stir all ingredients together, bringing the mixture to a low boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer the chowder for 15-20 minutes, stirring often until the potatoes are fork-tender. You can add water at this point to adjust the consistency if you desire.
The Final Stretch
- Taste Test – Adjust seasonings to taste, adding more salt, pepper, and creole seasoning if the chowder needs it.
- Garnish and Serve – Garnish bowls of chowder with bacon and chives or scallions if desired. Enjoy!
Watch How To Make It
Chicken Corn Chowder
Chicken Corn Chowder Base
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cup corn, frozen
- 1 cup carrot, diced (about 1 large carrot)
- 4 cup potatoes, cubed (about 2 medium potatoes)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chives or green onions, for garnish (optional)
Chicken Corn Chowder Base
- Cook bacon pieces in a large cast-iron pan or saucepan, over medium-high heat for about 5-8 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Use a large spoon to take out some of the bacon grease from the pot, reserving about 1-2 tablespoons in the cast-iron pan.
- Add chicken and brown for about 6-7 minutes – remove and set aside.
- Add butter to the cast iron pan and melt. Then add diced onions, garlic, celery, thyme, bay leaf, Creole seasoning, and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, until soft, translucent, and fragrant. Add in the flour and stir for about a minute.
- While whisking, pour in water and increase heat to medium-high.
- Pour in the cream, followed by corn, carrots, potatoes and, chicken together with its juice.
- Stir and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often until potatoes are fork-tender. Add more water if needed for desired soup consistency.
- Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and creole seasoning.
- Garnish with the rest of the bacon and chives or scallions if desired.
Tips & Notes:
- Always start by cooking the bacon! Browning your chicken afterward in a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease does amazing things for the flavor of this dish.
- A cast-iron pan is ideal for making this dish, as it’s one of the healthiest pieces of cookware out there, and it really does add to the depth of flavor.
- Stir flour into your sauteed veggies with butter, and let it soak into the butter before adding your liquid ingredients. This method will keep the flour from clumping, giving you smooth chowder.
- The consistency is up to you here! I love this dish ultra-thick, but if you prefer a thinner consistency, just add water or broth.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.