Crock of What?

I try to like crock pot cooking.  I really do.  The ease!  Opening the front door to a great-smelling meal/home!  Not spending my evening standing over the stove! But I feel like everything ends up tasting a lot like overcooked beef stew.  And it is always gloopy.  Is that a word?  Ew.

But (there’s always, a”but” isn’t there?)…

This sounded like something a little more soupy, and a little less gloppy.  And my husband loves corn chowder.  I don’t, but the addition of something other than milk and corn made it sound more appealing to me.  The prep time was more than the typical crock pot recipe (which is usually 1. open package/can, 2. dump in crock pot) but it really did turn out well.  I left out the chipotle and basil because the entire household is still slowly recovering from the Stomach Bug That Shall Not Be Named.  But I think it needs it.  It needed some brightening at the end – a little jazz, a little acidity.  I also sauteed the onions in regular olive oil, since we already had cooked bacon in the fridge.  And instead of heavy cream I used half and half, which I had on hand.  This one is a keeper, for sure.  I suspect if you cooked the potatoes separately, it would freeze and reheat well, too.  Bonus.

Crock Pot Chicken and Corn Chowder adapted from Pink Parsley

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound potatoes (some type that holds up to long-time crock pot cooking), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (15-oz) can creamed corn
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 tsp minced chipotle chiles in adobo (optional)
  • 3 Tbs minced fresh basil (optional)

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and browned.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.  Add the chopped onion to the bacon grease and cook until softened.  Add the garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in 2 cups of the broth, scraping up any browned bits.  Transfer to slow cooker.

Add remaining 3 cups of broth, potatoes, carrots, and bay leaves to the slow cooker.  Submerge the chicken in the broth mixture.  Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours. (I found 5 hours to be plenty.)

Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces.  Add it back to the slow cooker, along with the creamed corn, frozen corn, cream, and chipotle chiles.  Cook  for another 10-15 minutes until everything is heated through.  Remove the bay leaves, stir in the basil, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve. With crumbled bacon on top.  Mmmmm.

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