Bacon Corn Chowder is a quick meal. It takes about half an hour to make it from start to finish. The word chowder comes from the French word “chaudiere”, meaning a three-legged cauldron used by fishermen to make seafood stews. When the fishermen returned from sea, each village had a large chaudiere waiting for a portion of each man’s catch. The resulting stew was served during the community’s welcoming celebration. Although a chowder originally always included seafood, Americans began substituting other handy ingredients, often with potatoes as the base. Today chowder refers to any thick, rich soup with chunky ingredients that is cooked quickly without prolonged simmering.
This dish is a lesson in multi tasking! Cut the bacon into pieces before browning. I usually cut the whole package of bacon in half across the middle, securely fastening the unused half and returning it to the refrigerator. Cut across the length of the bacon four times and place in skillet to brown. Set a medium pot with 2-3 inches of water on the burner to boil. While it is browning, peel the potatoes and dice. Put potatoes in boiling water, making sure there is sufficient to just cover the potatoes. Chop onion and add to bacon. (If you have more than a tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan, you might want to drain or spoon some out first.) While bacon finishes browning and onion is sautéing, check to see if potatoes are done by stabbing a piece with a fork. Overcooking the potatoes will make the chowder mushy. When potatoes can be pierced with a fork, but still firm, drain first into a measuring cup. Reserve one cup of potato water and discard the rest. Replace pan on burner over medium heat. Add cream corn, whole corn, evaporated milk, salt and pepper. When onions are softened and starting to turn color, add the bacon and onion to the pot. Cook until heated through. Serve. Relax and enjoy a hot, hearty and filling meal.
- ½ pound bacon (about 8 strips), chopped
- 1 small/medium onion, chopped
- 5 medium potatoes, diced (about 3 ½ cups)
- 1 can cream-style corn
- 1 can whole corn, drained
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Brown bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Push to one side to continue cooking until crisp.
- Add chopped onion to bacon grease (about 1 tablespoon, discard excess) and begin saute, stirring onions as needed.
- In meantime, set a medium pan on burner with 2-3 inches of water and bring to boil. Peel and dice potatoes in small bite-sized chunks. Add to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 12 minutes.
- Remove potatoes from heat. Drain reserving one cup potato water. Return pot to medium heat, add potato water, milk, cream-style corn, whole corn, salt and pepper. Add bacon and onion.
- Stir well and heat through and slightly thickened.
- Traditionally served with crisp crust bread or crackers. Substitute ready made salad, if desired.
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