Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken and Shrimp Corn Chowder

I kinda threw this soup together not long ago when I was suddenly struck with a chowder craving. You know, it's funny that I had such a craving. I never really ate chowder growing up, and I haven't even eaten it that much as an adult. But we had recently visited a restaurant in St. Louis that served this amazing chowder, and I was smitten.

Rich and creamy, and loaded with shrimp, chorizo, andouille sausage, and peppers and onions, this chowder was a knockout. I couldn't resist finishing the entire bowl, despite the fact that we had already eaten a couple of courses before this one. I spared myself the embarrassment of licking the bowl when I was done, but I assure you that I would have if I'd been in the privacy of my own home!

So I knew I would not be able to fully recreate this wonderful chowder, but I set out to at least satisfy my urges with something that would be substantially lower in calories and fat, but still yummy. I think I was pretty successful. The chowder I made used a recipe as its point of reference, but I changed it up here and there. I posted my full recipe below, and I'm pretty happy with it. It hit the spicy notes, thanks to jalapeno and cayenne peppers. It hit the sweet corn notes, with pureed whole kernel corn and frozen corn added to the mix. It was full of textures, it was creamy, and it was very satisfying. It's a much more affordable way to enjoy the chowder, so I'd like to continue to tweak this and work on it some more. After all, sometimes you just have to improvise when faced with cravings for delicious, yet expensive, things!

Chicken and Shrimp Corn Chowder
adapted from
makes 4 servings

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cooked, diced boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 small breast half)
1 cup small, cooked shrimp, tails removed and diced (about 1/2 lb. shrimp)
1 cup frozen kernel corn
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15-0z.) can whole-kernel corn
1 oz. Canadian bacon, cooked and sliced thinly into strips, for garnish
Radishes, thinly slivered, for garnish

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth, and then add the chicken, shrimp, frozen corn, and salt and pepper. With a blender (or immersion blender), puree the can of whole corn, then stir into the soup.

3. Bring the chowder to a boil, reduce the heat, and allow to simmer, from 10-20 minutes. The chowder should thicken somewhat.

4. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls, then top with strips of Canadian bacon and a couple slices of radish.


  1. I don't know that I've ever had chowder before, but this really does look delicious. Of course, the one you talked about from your St. Louis trip sounds amazing too. Where did you eat? I know my family drives over to St. Louis every now and then to eat, so I might have to be sure to get them to take me when I visit my grandma this summer :)