They say it like this, “Chowdah.” It makes me giggle.
I say it like this, “CHOWDER.” My face gets very grave and serious when I say it – like a command.
It leaves one wondering, is chowder a serious thing, or something that should make you giggle?
As we all know, I moved to the Wild, Wild East over three years ago from my relatively tame corner of the world just on the edge of the Midwest. Aside from the obvious language barriers that had to be overcome, it has been one, long, very interesting adventure which has ended in a happily ever after, after all.
The fact is, ladies and gents, I ended up married to one of these wild Yanks who, when in the least bit provoked or absent-minded, drops his r’s and says things like, “My, you’re a wicked-good kissah!”
The second meal prepared from our lone bird was a mix of east and midwest, wild and tame, unique and classic – “Sweet Potato and Corn Chicken Chowder”
Say it five times fast, I dare ya.
Sweet Potato and Corn Chicken Chowder
Calories per serving: 150
Price Per Serving: astonishingly cheap (sorry, still no receipts.)
Preparation Time: about 45 minutes. I got distracted doing something else so it took me a little longer…
4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, chunked
1 quart of chicken stock
1 Tbsp chicken boullion plus 1 quart of water
(I had to use the boullion and water because I didn’t have enough stock. If YOU have enough stock, please use that, or if you don’t have stock, use 2 Tbsp boullion and 2 quarts of water. Make sense?)
3-4 fresh ears of corn
Alright. Here’s what’s to be done.
You’re gonna need a big pot – a four-quarter or bigger if you can manage. Pour the olive oil in the bottom of the pot, (which, I should mention, has been moved to a burner and is heating up) and then add the onions and garlic. Once they’ve had some time in the heat, add the chicken – stirring frequently. Frying the chicken first in the same pot, in my humble opinion, adds a little depth to the finished soup. *That’s why you do it like that* Once the chicken is nigh unto done, add the broth (or whatever combination of broth and boullion and water you have decided upon) and potatoes and bring it ALL to a boil.
I love how quickly sweet potatoes cook – have I ever said that? They soften up so nicely, they’re just a joy to be around in the kitchen. Once the sweet potatoes have become fork-tender (after about 15-20 minutes of boiling) you are going to proceed with what I perceive to be the Midwestern portion of today’s meal – the corn. Being from corn country, I know a thing or two about the veggie (at least, I put on airs as though I do…). I feel as though the fact that I have picked corn for farmer’s market at 3 A.M. gives me some sort of authority to be picky and odd about corn while at the same time enjoying a good ear much more than any person should. We picked our corn at 4:30 P.M from a large bin sitting just inside the door at Price Chopper – the corn snob in me promptly fell over and died. Ah well.
At any rate, whether near or far, Eastern or Western, you should really try to make this chowder with fresh corn – as fresh as you can manage. I shaved the kernels from our ears just before we were ready to eat and dumped them in, letting the soup boil for just a mere five minutes more before taking it off the heat and serving it up.
The result? Sweet, soft potatoes mingling in a salty, fragrant broth with crisp sweet corn and plump chunks of chicken.
I don’t care *how* you say it – that there’s good food!