Bacon Corn Chowder with Crab
This solid chowder recipe has an optional call out for some crab, if you want to use it. If not, serve it on its own or with some shredded chicken.
- 8 ears of corn, kernels removed (reserve 4 of the cobs)
- 1/2 cup celery leaves, chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 pound (about 8 slices) bacon, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 small bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 quart milk
- 1 teaspoon (or more) hot sauce, divided
- 1 cup crab meat, picked clean (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning (optional)
- 3 scallions, sliced on the bias
Yields: 5 to 6 servings
Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the four reserved corn cobs, celery leaves, water and chicken stock. Bring liquid up to a bubble and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer and reduce broth until about 1 1/2 cups remain, about 10 minutes. Keep warm until use.
While broth is simmering, place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Cook the bacon until crisp and brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove bacon from pot with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pot and add the potato, onion, garlic, celery, red pepper, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and corn kernels to the pot. Sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add milk, hot sauce and corn broth and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer chowder until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
If using crab, place into a small bowl and toss with Old Bay seasoning. Serve chowder garnished with crab, a pinch of scallions and some of the crispy bacon.
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