Thursday, November 9, 2006

Corn, Andouille Sausage & Chicken Chowder With Chipotle Chilies & Adobo Sauce

Here we are, definitely past summer and any possibility of fresh, local corn, and I get a hankering for corn chowder. Go figure. Thankfully there are several companies that package good frozen corn kernels, S&W's Petit White & Yellow Corn is one; Eden Products packages an organic corn. I found the S&W on sale recently and bought up a number of packages. Next summer I'm determined to buy local, organic corn and freeze it myself.

This soup came together on the fly, so to speak, with me getting inspiration for additional ingredients as I was cooking. At the last minute I decided that some of my slow-roasted tomatoes, recipe courtesy of Kalyn, needed to go into the pot. And with wonderful success, I might add. They gave the soup another dimension of flavors that complimented the rest of the ingredients perfectly. Be careful in the use of the chipotle chile in adobo. Mine were exceedingly hot. The addition of the adobo sauce, however, gave the soup a wonderful smokey quality.

Corn, Andouille & Chicken Chowder

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, yellow or sweet, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3-4 cups frozen corn kernels, such as S&W White & Yellow petit or Eden brand organic
6 cups chicken broth, divided
6-8 slow-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 chipotle chile (from canned chipotle in adobo)
1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 cup heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 andouille sausages, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
6 chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
Saute the onions until just softened. Add the red bell pepper and saute until both veggies are soft.
Add the corn kernels, 5 1/2 cups chicken stock, tomatoes, marjoram, chipotle chile and adobo sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another heavy skillet over medium high heat, saute the andouille slices until browned on both sides and the fat has melted into the pan. You may have to do this in several batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Place the sausage slices on a plate and keep warm.

Add the chicken pieces to the same pan and brown on both sides until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Again, this may have to be done in several batches. Add the cooked chicken to the sausage plate.
Deglaze the skillet with the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock, scraping up all the good browned bits that have stuck to the pan. Pour this liquid into the soup pot.
With an immersion blender, or a food processor, blend the soup until just slightly chunky.
With the pot over low heat, add the cream, chicken and sausage and stir until blended and warmed through.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Serve in warm bowls.
A dollop of homemade creme fraiche would be perfect on this soup topped with a sprig of fresh marjoram.

Marjoram being my herb of choice in the making of this soup, makes this a dish perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging #58. Our host this week is Meeta at What's For Lunch Honey? Click here to learn about Weekend Herb Blogging, a popular global event that our dear Kalyn originated over a year ago, and click here to read the guidelines and join in the fun. Submit your posted recipe to Meeta by Sunday, 3 PM Utah time.