Make-Ahead Chicken and Corn Chowder
To freeze the chowder, fill a large bowl or your sink with ice water. Pour the soup into a smaller bowl and nest it in the ice. Stir the soup occasionally to hasten cooling. Once cooled, transfer the chowder to 1-quart airtight containers, leaving 1/2 inch to allow for expansion. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat over medium-low heat.
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
- 2 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 3 red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cook the leeks and chicken
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the leeks, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the chicken is golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Prepare the chowder
Add the broth, potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper to the saucepan. Increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Finish the chowder
In a bowl, mix together the butter and flour to form a paste. Whisk 1 cup of the broth into the mixture and add it to the saucepan along with the corn. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve immediately. If freezing, set aside to cool (see note). Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Make Ahead, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).