Chowder won't take but a jiffy to prepare

Michael Holahan/Staff
Southwestern Chicken Corn Chowder

Corn chowder is a family favorite, and this week I'm sharing a creamy version with Southwestern flair that takes just 15 minutes to prepare.

The prep work in the recipe is minimal, almost limited to chopping an onion. You can even eliminate this step by substituting a cup of frozen chopped onion or fresh chopped onion from your supermarket's produce section.

If you made the vegetable soup from the Feb. 6 column, you probably have some leftover hash browns in the freezer that you can use in this recipe.

The recipe calls for some cooked chicken meat, and you can use leftover chicken or the meat from a rotisserie chicken. You also can find roasted chicken breast halves in the meat department or frozen grilled chicken breasts in the freezer section.

Ground cumin and green chilies give the soup a Southwestern flavor, but you can omit the ingredients for a more straightforward chicken-corn chowder. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with shredded cheese and chopped green onion. Serve with a big fruit salad and bakery muffins for a dinner your family will love.

SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN-CORN CHOWDER

1 tablespoon butter, margarine or canola oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, defrosted

4 cups (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can whole corn, drained

2 cans evaporated skim milk

2 cans cream-style corn

2 cans chopped green chilies

3 cups cooked chicken breast meat, shredded or diced

2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese blend, divided

Dash hot sauce, optional

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the butter, margarine or oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saut until tender. Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Add drained corn and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the evaporated milk, creamed corn, green chilies, chicken and 1 cup of the cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with some of the remaining cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS (per serving): 605 calories, 19 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 72 grams carbohydrates, 43 grams protein, 96 milligrams cholesterol, 8 grams fiber and 1,688 milligrams sodium

Nutritional analysis by Leah Miller, an intern in the Augusta Area Dietetic Internship based at University Hospital.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Creamy coconut shrimp pairs exotic flavors with simple preparation.

Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, Ga 30903-1928. Or e-mail karin.calloway@comcast.net. You can find quick cooking recipes through the archive at augustachronicle.com.

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