The boys went out for barbeque the other night and were a little overzealous in their ordering; they came home with almost two full uneaten smoked chicken quarters. (I have a feeling they filled up on hush puppies). The chicken had a great flavor, but didn’t seem that appetizing just reheated, so I decided to craft a soup around the leftover chicken. I thought the smokiness would be best accentuated in a chowder (I briefly toyed with the idea of a smoked chicken tortilla soup, but I like my traditional recipe too much to mess with it). I did, however, decide to make some homemade corn tortilla chips to accompany the chowder, and I garnished the chowder with a couple of avocado slices, but, honestly, the avocado didn’t add much to the already amazing flavor of the chowder. As is typical with a newly created recipe – I tweeked it as I went. I decided to add diced red pepper (because it was a bit of an afterthought, I sauteed it separately after I had cooked most of the other vegetables, so it is not shown in the photos). The photos also show both sweet and red onion being sauteed; I had 1/2 leftover of each, so I used both. You can adjust the spice in the recipe, but I thought the level of spice was perfect as is. If you can’t find smoked chicken (you can always go to your local barbeque joint), you can certainly substitute regular chicken (rotisserie would be fine), but if you can find smoked chicken, it really adds a whole additional level of flavor.
- 2-3 Cups Shredded Smoked Chicken (skin removed)
- 1 Large Sweet Onion
- 1 Sweet Red Pepper – chopped
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper -seeds and membrane removed; finely chopped
- 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic – finely chopped
- 2-3 Large Russet Potatoes – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 16 Oz. Frozen Corn (can substitute canned)
- 3 Plum Tomatoes – seeded and chopped
- 4 Chipotle (in Adobe sauce) Peppers – seeds removed and chopped.
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4-1/3 Cup Flour
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese – shredded
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Sprigs of Fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme
Fill a medium stock pot with enough water to sufficiently cover potatoes; bring to a boil and add potatoes. Cook potatoes until al dente (just becoming fork tender), about 5-7 minutes. Drain potatoes and run under cold water to stop cooking process; set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno and red pepper and saute until onion is translucent and peppers are tender.Add potatoes and flour and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a stock pot, add tomatoes, corn, chipotle peppers, shredded chicken, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme. Heat to just below a boil, and add cream. When cream is heated, add shredded cheese. Garnish with avocado slice, if desired. Serve with homemade tortilla chips or good crusty bread.