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Bacon-Potato Chowder

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 October 2010 at 17:12
NOTE - Photos FINALLY posted! Scroll down ~

Following is the original recipe from Land-O-Lakes. After enjoying this on especially grey days for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that this is a GREAT hot lunch or supper on a cold day!

 

8 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch slices
6 medium (2 cups) new red potatoes, cubed 1/2-inch
2 medium (1 cup) onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk (the "new" recipe uses half-and-half)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook bacon in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until done; add potatoes and onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (10 to 15 minutes).

Add all remaining ingredients. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (5 to 10 minutes).
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 October 2010 at 17:20
this is one of my favourite cold-weather foods - one of the ones that has always, for nearly 20 years, been the pinnacle of grey-day food, in my mind.

when my wife and i were starting out, the local grocery where we lived was running some sort of promotion where each week they gave out chapters to a ring-bound recipe book published by land-o-lakes. we still have that book, but i have no clue as to the "goodness" of any of the recipes in there other than this one. it's obviously a pretty standard recipe, but OMGosh how good it is on an autumn or winter day while the sun is setting earlier than you want it to and light snow falls on the street outside.

the recipe posted above is the original, including the "can of soup" that is added to a lot of promotional cookbooks published by commercial entities in the food industry when they want you to use their product (in this case, land-o-lakes sour cream). good stuff no matter what!

over time, i've experimented here and there with different flavours and herbs, but the original really can't be beat. the only thing we do different is usually double or triple it and make a large batch of it for reheating as lunches etc. the next day; this of course extends cooking times etc.

some modifications we do to the original are to add a clove or two of minced garlic, crushed bay leaves or other herbs/spices. we don't stray too far when we do this, but a little variation is good for the soul. also, sometimes we cook the bacon separately (or drain the fat), then proceed with the recipe from there. this helps reduce the fat, but the texture of the potatoes loses a little bit of whatever it is that makes them special when cooked according to the instructions.

after all ingredients are added, it will definitely take longer than 15 minutes for the potatoes to cook. count on at least a half-hour or more, depending on how large a batch of chowder you make.

speaking of batches, we always make at least a double batch, usually triple or quadruple. this is one of those dishes that tastes so much better the next day, it makes great "re-heated" lunches.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 October 2010 at 19:58
Oh man, here's another one I simply HAVE to try!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 October 2010 at 21:06
hey, andy! be sure you do give this chowder a try. it's nothing special in a "culinary" way, but it is definitely one that good memories are made of!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2015 at 19:04
Sounds great. I just may try it soon, it's getting to be soup weather here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2016 at 15:18
I made this again awhile ago (well, actually about a year ago), and was finally able to take a few photos. They (the photos) are somewhat lacking, due to the fact that I was using the camera on my iPod, which is sometimes awesome and sometimes terrible, but mostly in-between. For the mediocre quality of the photos, I apologise in advance.

Here’s a shot of "the goods” needed to make this chowder:



As you can see, there is nothing exotic, complicated or expensive here, just the promise of a wonderful, satisfying soup of a cold, grey, wet day!

Note that this was a double batch, so there is going to be a lot of everything. This chowder is even better the next day, if it lasts that long!

But wait! It looks like a couple of things are missing...the milk, and the potatoes!

Where could they be?

Well, here they are - and someone was kind enough to cube them up for me, too!



These were great potatoes, right from my father’s garden, just three miles from my kitchen.

The prep work, as you can see, was very easy.

Onward to glory!

The first step is to cook and render the bacon, as shown here:



The best part about this step is that the heavenly, smoky, rendered fat can be used to cook the onions and potatoes. Drain off as much (or as little!) fat as you dare, then add the onions and potatoes to the pot and cook them, stirring now and then, until the potatoes are tender. Doing this adds a very desirable layer of flavour; it also adds a textural element to the potatoes - versus just adding them to the chowder later in the process - that makes them highly addictive. I can’t explain it, but it’s a fact, so I would suggest making sure that you follow the same practice!

Once the potatoes get the way you want them, add the rest of the ingredients:



Then, add your thyme and black pepper:



Since I was using fresh thyme from my herb garden, I used double the amount compared to using dried herbs.

That’s pretty much it! All you need to do now is allow your chowder to heat through for a while so that all of the flavours can get to know each other a little:



This usually takes 10 or 15 minutes, but sometimes a little extra time is needed, in order to make sure that the potatoes are cooked through.

In any case, once you decide that you chowder is finished, you can serve it up:



See? I told you that this was good stuff - it tastes even better!

For some reason, the photo seems to be making it appear a little more yellowish than it actually is, but you get the idea.



This chowder is filling, satisfying, and incredibly delicious. If you like these types of soups at all, I am sure that you will absolutely love this. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s the perfect thing this time of year, wrapping you with savory comfort as you watch the days grow shorter.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2016 at 12:04
yep, definitely going to try this one soon!
Mike
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2016 at 13:06
I could have used a bowl of this today after standing in the pouring rain while salmon fishing.(got two)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2016 at 19:15
Hey, MTMan, is that your left-handed way of bragging?
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 October 2016 at 08:24
G'morning, gents - it's good to see you all here!

Sounds like a good fishing trip to me, George; I'd love to be reeling in a couple of nice salmon. The trout fishing up here is good, though, as you know!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2016 at 13:09
Oo, that looks good!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 December 2017 at 09:10
We made this for supper last night, and it was as good as ever.

We made a single batch, and added some diced chicken breast (sautéed with the bacon) that we had. Everything turned out great, and it was sure nice to enjoy this wonderful chowder one more time.

If you haven't tried it, I recommend it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 13:56
We had our first frost of autumn last Friday, 28 September, and I vowed that morning to make this again over the weekend, to commemorate the event.

I switched the recipe around a little, but not much. I wanted to use about half the potatoes as usual, so I added half a pound of sliced, fresh mushrooms to the chowder to make up for that. The potatoes I did use, purely on a whim, were a three-coloured batch of baby potatoes that our local grocery had on special. Each kind of potato had a slight variation in flavor, unique in its own right, and added a nice dimension to the chowder.

In making this batch, I also added 4 minced garlic cloves; as it turns out, this was too much, in my opinion, so I will be sure to not add more than one or two cloves of garlic in the future.

Other than that, we stuck to the original recipe fairly closely. I had some leftover parsley from another project, so I garnished the chowder with that on serving. Other than the excess garlic, the chowder was great, as always, and everyone enjoyed it.
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