Monday, March 19, 2012

Winter's Last Hurrah.

Crazy weather here in Monticello; after having temperatures reaching to almost 70 degrees, it is now windy, cold and snowing. We're expecting about 3 to 4 inches tonight and then the temperatures will be going back up into the 60's.

With the spring like weather last week, I was planning out my vegetable and herbal gardens; making lists of plants to buy, soils, etc. Suddenly Mother Nature decides to slap us in the face with another dose of winter; sort of letting us know that she wasn't finished with that season just yet.

While I had roasted some chicken breasts to use to add into leafy salads; the idea of having soup popped into my mind. Not just any soup though, I wanted a chowder; thick, hearty, stick to the ribs chowder. There is something about soup, but chowder especially, that makes one feel so warm and comfortable when it is cold outside. A picture enters the mind of sitting in front of a lit fireplace, blanket wrapped around the shoulders, sitting in a rocking chair and cradling a bowl of chowder.

Now I usually have biscuits as an accompaniment for chowder, but this time I used one as a centerpiece in my bowl. A nice grind of freshly cracked black pepper over the biscuit and chowder was the final touch to perfect comfort.

Chicken Corn Chowder


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika and ground black pepper
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and large diced
2 stalks celery, large diced
1 small onion, diced
6 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups cooked whole kernel corn
2 hardboiled eggs, diced


Preheat oven to 350F; spray roasting pan with nonstick spray. Season chicken with the salt, black pepper and paprika; roast for 15-20 minutes; juices in chicken will run clear. Remove and cut into cubes. While chicken is roasting, place potatoes, carrots and celery in a large pot, cover with salted water; cook on high heat until potatoes are fork tender. Drain, but retain 1 cup of water.

In the large pot, melt butter on medium-high heat, add onion and cook for 5 minutes; add in flour and mix thoroughly. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to make sure the flour is well incorporated. Add in milk, retained water and corn; bring to a boil, stir and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Mix in diced eggs and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Mary Cokenour

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