Notes: Freeze the bacon first for easy chopping. The stock can be prepared the day before. Avoid overcooking the potatoes. This chowder reheats well.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.
- Yield:serves 6 to 8
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:4 hours
- 1 whole small chicken (about 3 pounds)
- 3 medium onions, divided (1 halved, 2 finely chopped)
- 4 stalks celery, divided (2 halved, 2 finely chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 8 sprigs thyme (4 left whole, leaves removed from 4 and chopped)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces bacon finely chopped
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 quart)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Handful chopped parsley
Place chicken in large Dutch oven. Add halved onion, halved celery stalks, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 4 sprigs thyme. Add just enough water to cover (about 3 quarts). Bring to boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is falling off the bone, about 1 hour.
Carefully remove chicken from stock and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat, then return bones to pot. Continue to simmer stock for 1 more hour. Meanwhile, shred chicken, place in a medium boil, add 1 ladle of stock, and refrigerate until ready to use.
After 1 hour, strain stock and let sit 15 minutes. Skim fat from top, then measure. You should have about 6 to 7 cups. If more, gently simmer to reduce. If less, add water to reach at least 6 cups.
In empty stockpot, heat oil and bacon over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until bacon is crispy and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate.
Add chopped onions, chopped celery, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pot. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add flour and cook until pale golden blond, about 1 minute. Whisk in stock in a thin steady stream until fully incorporated. Add potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
Add corn and chopped thyme. Cook until corn is just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, bacon, and cream to heat through. Season to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.