Chicken Corn Chowder for Two
I am not a sandwich person. Mr. Kitchenette actually makes very good sandwiches and I do have a couple in my repertoire you might see this fall. But generally speaking, I am not a fan. Generally speaking, I think cold cuts are gross. When lunchtime rolls around, I will gladly reheat leftovers or eat soup for lunch, even if it’s 90 degrees out. In fact, there are some soups that are at their best in the summer, and this is one of them.
Making soup for just two people is not usually something I do. It’s usually a lot easier to make a huge pot of soup and either keep it in the ‘fridge for a quick and easy dinner or when nothing else seems appealing for lunch, just eating it every day or every other day until it’s gone. But with one lonely chicken breast in a baggie after making Thai basil chicken last week, I improvised a little and it just kind of worked out with the ingredients we had around.
I wish I could remember what cooking show I picked up the trick of poaching the chicken in the broth while you’re making the soup, but it’s been in the back of my head for ages now and I’ve long forgotten the source. Just trust me, tt’s a nifty move if you’re not working with leftover roasted chicken (which you can also use here, try one heaping cup’s worth) and/or don’t feel like getting out another pan to cook one little chicken breast for soup. Whatever you do, don’t turn to the microwave which will leave you with rubbery chicken that will only distract you from the other great flavors in this simple soup for two.
Chicken-Corn Chowder for Two
3 slices bacon, diced
1 large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 ear sweet corn, kernels stripped and cob reserved
¼ teaspoon minced fresh thyme or a pinch dried
1 Tablespoon flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 large (or two small to total about 12 ounces) red potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breast
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove half the bacon bits from the pan, drain on paper towels and reserve.
Add shallot and celery to the bacon fat and cook until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
Add broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add reserved corncob (you will likely have to break it in half), potatoes, bay leaf to pot, bring to a simmer. Add chicken breast to pot and increase heat. Simmer gently on medium-high, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking if it is not completely submerged. Transfer chicken to plate, allow to cool, and shred with two forks.
Meanwhile, return soup to medium heat, stir in corn and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
Remove and discard corncob and bay leaf. Add shredded chicken and cream, stirring constantly to keep from boiling until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Serve warm, topped with reserved bacon bits.