Living in the Midwest, there is always an abundance of corn available this time of year. A short trip down a country road will lead you to several pop-up farm stands or an old Ford truck sitting with the tail open, piled high with beautiful ears of corn. The honor system is used when payment is needed. An old coffee or a clear mason jar sits atop the bed of the truck. Country customers put their dollars in and take change as they see fit. It always makes me smile to see trusting neighbors and friends supporting local foods.
This week, on my way back from the University, I expected to see the above mentioned vendors dotting the roads on my way home. Due to the late hour, all had packed up and headed home for supper. I had hoped to purchase a dozen ears of corn for a soup recipe I was planning to make. To my surprise, as I turned at a country crossroad, I spied an old truck filled with corn just waiting for my arrival. I grabbed a bag and filled it up. Inside the bed sat an old pretzel container with a twist lid. I popped in my cash and headed home. Here is the delicious recipe I love to make with fresh or frozen sweet corn. It is an adaptation to a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks.
Country Corn and Chicken Chowder
1 cup diced bacon (nearly 1 pound)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
½ cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped (or 1 can diced potatoes)
8 ears of corn, carefully remove kernels (or two bags frozen roasted sweet corn)
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 teaspoons parsley
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
Place the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat, and cook until crisp. Drain and crumble, reserving drippings in the pot.
Mix onion and celery into the pot with reserved drippings. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Do not brown. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 5-7 minutes; do not brown. Pour in the broth, and stir in potatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with marjoram, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add chicken, corn, and cooked bacon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and carefully add half and half.