Are you ready for some football!!!??? Husker football (University of Nebraska) is anticipated with great gusto, at our house. Anticipation of the first game, and the beginning of a new football season, are already swirling in an ever-brightening aura around my husband’s comfy football-watching chair. He can hardly contain his excitement — reading and watching sportscasters’ reviews, checking out (online) how training is going, memorizing player’s stats, watching to make sure no one is injured and keeping an eye on the competition. Arm chair coaching is a huge commitment with a lot of responsibilities, but he’s willing to make the sacrifice. 🙂 My job is to keep him supplied with plenty of hearty, football-watching dishes and snacks. This Jalapeno Popper Chicken and Corn Chowder is one of his favorites!
We’re homegating people, but if you’re a diehard tailgater, the line to your table will be long and excited if you’re sharing steamy mugs of this delicious chowder with a spicy kick. It’s perfect for warming up on chilly football Saturdays and the flavor would raise the roof on the stadium, (if it had one). Using chicken that I roasted, in bulk, and stored in my freezer along with rich, flavorful homemade chicken stock, also prepped ahead and stored, this satisfying chicken and veggie chowder comes together quickly. You could also use leftover chicken from last night’s dinner or a rotisserie chicken, for some other quick-fix options. If you need to purchase chicken stock, be sure to grab one that is high-quality and full of flavor.
To get started I fried the bacon in my Farberware New Traditions 3-quart saute pan. It’s deep sides help to keep the grease in the pan, instead of splattered all over my stove. I love the fiery red exterior, speckled with autumn hues, of these New Traditions pots and pans. They’re perfect for pulling fall colors into your kitchen decor! The 12-piece New Traditions set comes with the saute pan I mentioned, plus 1-Qt and 2-Qt Saucepans with lids, a 5-quart Dutch Oven and lid, an 8 ½-Inch Skillet and a 10-inch skillet, plus three nylon utensils — a Slotted Turner, Slotted Spoon and Solid Spoon. You can pick up a set for your own kitchen, right now, at Kmart.
Once the bacon is crisp, I drain it on paper towels and set it aside for just a bit. The next step is to get all my veggies prepped. I peel and dice the potatoes, then mince onions, red bell pepper and jalapenos.
After getting the veggies ready, I grate some extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut a block of cream cheese into 1-inch cubes and dice my chicken. I used frozen corn, but if you have fresh sweet corn, from your garden, go for it! It will be awe-mazing!
Okay, saute the onions, jalapenos and peppers in a little butter. After about five minutes add the potatoes and six cups of high-quality chicken stock. Continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender (about 15 minutes, give or take). Then toss in the chicken, cream cheese, cheddar, corn, bacon and parsley. Continue cooking, and stirring, over low heat until all the cheese has melted. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and heat through without boiling. (Boiling cream soups tends to cause them to curdle and separate, so keep your heat low and practice patience while you allow it to come up to temperature.)
Serve the chowder piping hot with all your other favorite football fare. Some crusty bread, with real butter, and avocado slices are great with it. I think it would also be gorgeous, not to mention tasty, served in bread bowls.
- 4 large jalapeños, minced
- 1 small red onion minced
- 1 large bell pepper minced
- ¼ cup butter
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3 large russet potatoes peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
- 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast diced
- 5 strips thick-cut bacon
- 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese cut into one-inch cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup fresh parsley minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional garnish: grated cheddar, parsley, and crumbled bacon
- Sauté the peppers, onions and jalapenos in butter for about five minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and potatoes and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add the corn, bacon, cheddar, cream cheese, and parsley. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted.
- Add the cream and continue heating until the chowder is hot enough to serve. Patience is important. Keep the heat low and don't let your chowder boil – cream soups often curdle or separate if boiled. Use medium-low heat and let it gradually come up to serving temperature.
- Serve with your favorite crusty bread, crackers and or garnishes.