We made dinner to take my awesome yoga instructor when she had ACL surgery on Friday, and Craig suggested Cheddar Chicken Chowder, a modified Cooking Light recipe we've made for years. It is so flavorful, total comfort, creamy, hearty, lots of veggies, with a smidge of heat from Tabasco. It's easy to prepare and can be made ahead and reheated. Try it. You'll like it. Alot.
2 bacon slices
1 pound skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 3/4 cups diced red and/or Yukon gold potatoes – do not peel
Tabasco – few shakes depending on your heat tolerance
2 1/4 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% low-fat milk – more if it seems too thick
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Diced green onions
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside.
Add chicken to bacon fat in pan and cook until no longer pink. Remove from pan. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, carrots, and garlic to pan and sauté 5 minutes (add olive oil to sauté if need). Add broth, potatoes, and Tabasco; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn; stir well.
Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper.
Top with crumbled bacon, green onions, and cilantro.