Chicken (or Turkey) Corn Chowder

One of my goals with this blog was to write about one of my great passions – cooking (and consequently, eating). And since my kids are always asking me for recipes, it just seemed easier to post them here than to continually write them down and email them. I’m also queen of the “hurl it in a pan and pray” style of cooking; some of my best recipes utilize things laying around the kitchen, including leftovers.

Tonight I was staring at leftover turkey (I roasted one last weekend) and a can of creamed corn I’d gotten on sale. Then I realized I had carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, frozen corn, canned chicken broth and half and half. Turkey corn chowder! One of the ultimate comfort foods of winter, and once you make it yourself you’ll never buy another can of Campbell’s Select. It’s certainly cheaper and most definitely tastier. Coupled with homemade biscuits, which are also a snap to throw together (and will assure you’ll never buy another can of those pre-made things), you couldn’t ask for a more satisfying, cold-weather dinner.

Chicken (or Turkey) Corn Chowder
serves 6 to 8
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken or turkey (leftovers are fine)
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons butter
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth (or homemade broth if you’ve got it)
2 cups water
1 can creamed corn
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter; gently sautée carrots, celery and onions until the onion is soft and almost translucent.

Add water, chicken broth and potatoes – raise heat until mixture boils, then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are almost, but not quite, tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in chicken (or turkey), creamed corn, frozen corn and half and half. Mix the flour into the the milk well with a fork or whisk and stir into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Simmer until the potatoes are done and the mixture is thickened slightly.

Baking Powder Biscuits
makes 8 – 10 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift the dry ingredients together. In a large mixing bowl, blend the shortening into the flour with a pastry knife or fork. Make a well in the center. Into this pour all the milk at once. Stir only until all the flour is moistened. Toss on a lightly floured board or counter and knead for 20 seconds. Pat or roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rounds and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Re-roll scraps and continue to cut until all the dough is used. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Day of rest, my Aunt Fannie’s fanny

No, I don’t have an Aunt Fannie – but it sounded cool.

Whoever coined the expression “Sunday is the day of rest” was either a man or just plain crazy.

I slept in until 8:30 a.m. (oh noes! as my oldest would say), then got up and started breakfast, a nice skillet scramble with potatoes, onion, green and red bell pepper, bulk sausage and scrambled eggs. While that cooked, I boiled up the two pounds of Great Northern beans I’d soaked overnight, started a loaf of bread in the bread machine and mixed up the dough for a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

By the time the beans were done, the bread was rising, the cookies were mixed and breakfast was ready. We heated up a few corn tortillas in the microwave and got out the peach salsa and ate. Well, we, the adults, ate – I made Nick scrambled eggs and oatmeal, rotten picky little thing he is (he tried to sneak in a glass of Mountain Dew with this repast – mean old Mom made him drink milk instead).

I let everyone else clean up while I got out three cookie sheets and dropped 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies and put them in the oven to bake. Then I turned around and whipped together some oatmeal cookie dough – by the time the chocolate chip cookies (which spread too much – time to find a new recipe) were done, I was ready to bake 3 dozen oatmeal cookies.

While the oatmeal cookies baked, I dumped the cooked, drained beans in my cast iron dutch oven with some boiling water, salt, mustard, brown sugar, ketchup and a couple of squirts of Worcestershire sauce. Once the oatmeal cookies were done, the oven temp went down to 325 degrees and in went the beans. All of the cookies were cooled on wire racks and stuffed into my two cookie jars. By this time the bread was done, so out of the machine it came to cool on one of the wire racks.

I then realized it was 1 p.m. and I hadn’t even had a shower. And I was tired and my feet hurt.