LUCY BURDETTE: About a year ago, on a book tour with Hallie Ephron, Jennifer McMahon, and Molly Weston, I made a stop in Penzey's spices in Raleigh. I bought a bag of dried chipotle peppers, but I never used them. With this chowder, I changed that--and we were crazy about the results.
Every once in a while I make a dish that causes a dogfight over leftovers--though my photos don't really do it justice, this was one of those!
1 or 2 dried chipotle chiles, soaked in 2 tbsp olive oil and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bunch scallions, minced
5 or so slices of bacon, chopped and cooked
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 or so cup milk
1 large box chicken stock
6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced small
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)
Chop the bacon and sauté in a large stockpot until crisp. Set this aside and blot out most of the grease. Add a little olive oil to the pan and saute the chopped red peppers, the scallions, the chipotle peppers, and the cumin until the vegetables are soft. (The chipotles are spicy and add a distinctive flavor, so you may want to start out conservatively.) Add the flour and cook for a few minutes, making sure to stir well.
Next gradually stir in the box of chicken stock, stirring thoroughly. It should begin to thicken like a white sauce. Add the potatoes and simmer about ten minutes. Add the chicken and both kinds of corn and heat through. Now stir in the cheeses, and finally the milk.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and bacon if desired. (We did!)
MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now!
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