Too many pumpkin recipes popping up on the web these days. I bet I’ll see more as Thanksgiving draws nearer. We don’t do Thanksgiving in the Philippines and we have squash instead of pumpkin. I’ve cooked with both and, bias or no bias, squash is sweeter, tastier and creamier. I like to use squash in soups, stews and even as an alternative to mashed potatoes. This chicken and vegetable chowder has a copious amount of squash in it.
This soup is a one-pot dish that’s chunky enough to make a complete meal. Just serve with a nice crusty bread and butter and you’re good to go. I used chicken thigh fillets and bacon but you can substitute whatever combination you prefer — chicken and salty ham, beef and bacon, turkey and bacon, lamb and ham… You can even ditch the meat and use fish fillets, prawns or shellfish instead.
The cooking time will vary, naturally, depending on your choice of meat or seafood; I’ll leave it to you to make the necessary adjustments. Just remember that a good chowder is heavily dependent on a roux made correctly and a very good broth.
Chicken and Vegetable Chowder
- 2 chicken thigh fillets
- 4 strips of belly bacon
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 to 3 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade), the amount depending on how thin or thick you want your chowder
- 1 large potato cubed
- 1 large carrot cubed
- 1 cup squash cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- snipped parsley to garnish
Thinly slice the chicken thigh fillets and bacon.
Heat a thick-bottomed pot. Add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered.
Add the chicken. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned along the edges. Scoop out, transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Heat half of the butter in the pot. Add the chopped onion. Cook gently with occasional stirring until softened and translucent. Scoop out, transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Melt the remaining butter in the pot. Add the flour. Make a roux.
Pour in the broth, little by little, stirring as you pour.
Add the onion, chicken and bacon to the pot. Throw in the carrot and potato cubes. Season with more salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Add the squash. Continue cooking over low heat for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Ladle the chicken and vegetable chowder into soup bowls, garnish with snipped parsley. Serve hot.