Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
Normally I’m only a fan of soup type dishes in the cold winter months or if I’m sick. Sometimes though, requests happen or an idea hits me and it’s a must do regardless of the season. So the birds are chirping, the sun is out and the trees are green. That doesn’t mean we can’t have soup or chowder does it? Well, I say go for it if you want it. Get those cravings out of the way now because come July and August you won’t want to be in the kitchen slaving away or eating something hot like this. Okay wait, I just said slaving away. There is zero slaving away with this dish! Slow cooker for the win! But I still wouldn’t want to eat a hot bowl of soup or chowder in the upcoming steamy summer months. Get it out of the way now.
I only just got a slow cooker this year but it’s been fun to use. The best parts about having a slow cooker, less slaving away in the kitchen. When you have two little ones to run after this is definitely a big bonus. Toss your ingredients in when you wake up and by dinner you have a warm dish ready to serve. I love how the smell of whatever you are cooking wafts its way through the house but the downfall to that is you are tormented for hours before you can eat it. That’s the trade off I suppose.
A few slow cooker items I’ve done so far require more hands on time than others. Some are super easy and really is just toss and go. This particular recipe requires a bit of hands on time before tossing items together but that in no way should prevent you from making it.
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
5 slices bacon
1 1/2 C onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 16oz can whole corn, drained
1 16oz can creamy style corn
1 tsp thyme
1 C chicken broth
4 C potatoes
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 C half and half
3-4 tbsp corn starch
In a 400 degree oven, cook bacon for 18-20 minutes on a cooling rack within a larger cookie sheet. You can also cook bacon in a skillet on your stove. Meanwhile, chop onions into smaller than bite size chunks. If using a skillet for your bacon, reuse the same pan and bacon drippings for your onion. If baking your bacon, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet. When your bacon is cooked remove from pan or cookie sheet to a paper towel lined plate or cutting board. Carefully pour in bacon drippings with your onions. I realise that gives you several options to choose from but everyone has their own preference as to which is best or easiest. Personally, I bake my bacon. It's easy and doesn't require a lot of thinking. I get the same results each time. Cook onions until they are nearly translucent. Transfer onions to a small bowl, set aside. Chop up bacon, reserving 1 slice of bits for topping later.
When it comes to your garlic, you can use preminced garlic or fresh and mince it yourself. Mincing garlic isn't hard at all. An easy way to do this, place garlic on a small cutting board. Place the side of a sharp knife on garlic and push down with your hand. This will flatten the garlic. Now you can easily chop up into tiny pieces.
Scrub potatoes and chop into bite size pieces.
Add all ingredients to slow cooker bowl, except corn starch and half and half. Remember to reserve a portion of your chopped bacon. Gently stir ingredients. Cover and cook for 7 1/2 hours on low.
At the 7 1/2 hour mark, add half and half. Give it a quick stir, replace cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Your chowder will not have a creamy look until you add the half and half. It also will not be thick until the final step. So fear not if you are watching and wondering. It will all come together.
Just before serving add corn starch. This will help to thicken it up. I added a bunch. Maybe even a bit too much so I had to counteract that by adding a bit more chicken broth into the mix. Add 1 tbsp of corn starch at a time and mix well. It will thicken fairly quick. Continue to add corn starch 1 tbsp at a time until you are satisfied with the consistency. If you find you have added too much, simply add a quick splash of chicken broth in and stir. This kind of recipe leaves plenty of room for correcting issues in the final result.
Serve warm, topped with bacon.