Comfort Essentials: Shrimp & Chicken Chowder

Comfort Essentials: Shrimp & Chicken Chowder


Warm your soul with Shrimp & Chicken Chowder, the ultimate comfort food. Creamy, hearty, and utterly satisfying. Chowders and soups are awesome on those cold Winter nights when you want to warm up. But they are also awesome on any day of the year; hot or cold. This recipe combines shrimp, chicken, and other yummy stuff into an amazing chowder, and let us not forget bacon… I mean really, how can we forget the bacon??? I pulled an all-nighter to get this right, but it was worth it. So, you ready… let’s get into the kitchen.

Comfort Essentials: Shrimp & Chicken Chowder



Cook time: 1 Hr 20 Min  Prep time: 15 Min  Serves: Several

Ingredients
PLAN/PURCHASE
2 md chicken breasts boneless, skinless, diced
15 - 20 sm shrimp, shells and tails removed, deveined
THE CHOWDER BASE
3 - 4 slice thick cut bacon, diced
1/4 c yellow onion, chopped
1/4 c celery, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
4 oz green chilis, 1 small can, mild or hot, your choice
2 Tbsp flour, all-purpose variety
2 c milk or half & half
1 c chicken stock, not broth
12 oz potatoes, golden variety, cubed
6 oz cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
4 oz cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1 tsp hot sauce, i prefer frank’s
DRY SPICES
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt, kosher variety, or to taste
1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 md bay leaves, dried variety
ADDITIONAL ITEMS
1 - 2 dash lemon juice, freshly squeezed, or to taste
OPTIONAL ITEMS
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1/2 c corn kernels, fresh or frozen
oyster crackers, or crusty bread
hot sauce, at the table
Directions
1. PREP/PREPARE
2. OPTIONAL ITEMS NOTES Dry Sherry It is a wonderful addition to things like chowders. While the lemon juice brightens the dish; the sherry adds a subtle mellow note. Corn Corn is a nice addition to this chowder. It adds a sweet/savory enhancement to the overall flavor.
3. In my final photo, I garnish the chowder with the shrimp and bacon; however, if you want you could fold the shrimp into the pot before serving, and sprinkle with the reserved bacon. I just thought it looked nice with the shrimp on top. Remember, we eat first with our eyes.
4. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
5. COOKING THE SHRIMP Here are some notes on the cooking of the shrimp.
6. Add some butter and oil to a pan over high heat.
7. Add the shrimp to the pan.
8. Flip after about 1 minute.
9. Flip again after about 1 minute, and reserve.
10. COOKING THE CHICKEN Here are some notes on cooking the chicken.
11. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
12. Add some oil to a pan over high heat.
13. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and then toss into the pan.
14. Cook until nice and brown, about 4 – 5 minutes.
15. Remove from the pan and reserve.
16. THE CHOWDER BASE
17. Add the bacon to a sauté pan over medium-low heat.
18. Allow the bacon to slowly render its fat, about 10 – 12 minutes.
19. When crispy, leave the fat in the pan, then remove the bacon and reserve.
20. You need 2 – 3 tablespoons of fat. If you have more than that, remove the excess, if you do not have enough, add a bit of unsalted butter, or oil, to make up the difference.
21. Add the onions and celery to the pot, still over medium-low heat, and stir until the veggies begin to soften, about 2 – 3 minutes.
22. Add the garlic.
23. Stir for an additional 60 seconds.
24. Add the green chilies.
25. Stir to combine with the other veggies, about 2 minutes.
26. Combine the chicken stock and milk in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk in the flour.
27. Add to the pot, and bring up to a simmer, then stir until it begins to thicken, about 4 – 5 minutes.
28. Add all the dry spices and whisk to combine.
29. Dice the potatoes, with the skins on-or-off, your choice.
30. Add the potatoes, and simmer until they begin to soften, about 15 minutes.
31. Add the cream cheese and stir into the chowder, about 2 – 3 minutes.
32. Add the grated cheddar and combine into the chowder, about 2 – 3 minutes.
33. Add the cooked chicken and stir to warm through, about 2 – 3 minutes.
34. Finally, add a splash or two of lemon juice, to brighten up chowder a bit, and do a final tasting for proper spicing. If you are doing the sherry, add it now.
35. You may not be into sherry; however, a bit of dry sherry really deepens the flavors of this chowder. Just remember, a little goes a long way.
36. PLATE/PRESENT
37. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved bacon and shrimp. Serve while nice and warm. Enjoy.
38. Keep the faith and keep cooking.

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