The holidays are getting closer, and if you’re like me, you start thinking–and stressing–about the preparations well ahead of time. My Tips for a Stress-Less Holiday can help, as well as these no-fail tips on how to brine and cook a turkey. With the turkey main feature accounted for, how about the holiday sides? I’ve got you covered there, too. One of my go-to Thanksgiving sides is this corn chowder recipe.
The First Thanksgiving
Corn was a key feature on the table at the very first Thanksgiving, so it’s traditional to include at least one corn-based side in our celebrations. That first Thanksgiving in 1621 was actually a three-day-long celebration of a successful harvest. A Wampanoag leader known as Squanto, who knew English, had helped the settlers grow their corn with the use of fish heads as fertilizer.
Along with corn, the first shared meal between settlers and Native Americans included deer, shellfish, and roasted meat. So it’s actually a great tradition to serve venison on the Thanksgiving table if your family prefers it to turkey.
Sweet Corn Chowder
Usually, modern-day holiday corn recipes feature sweet yellow corn instead of the Indian corn that graced the pilgrims’ table. (However, Indian corn is a beautiful decorative addition to the Thanksgiving table.)
Along with the holidays, corn chowder always reminds me of one of my husband’s best friends. He raves about this recipe every time I serve it to him. I think the secret to its success is the use of fresh corn. Although frozen corn is certainly acceptable, the fresh corn pops in your mouth and adds a special sweetness.
Additionally, I think the white cheddar cheese in this recipe gives the corn chowder an extra WOW factor. However, I left it optional here in case you have guests who don’t like their chowder with cheese.
Watch me make Corn Chowder with Wild Boar Pork Belly Bacon on the Outdoor Channel:
- 8 strips bacon diced
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1/3 cup flour
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 8 cups chopped potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ears fresh corn (or 4 cups frozen corn)
- 2 cups light cream (half and half)
- 1 tomato diced
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese optional
- Sauté bacon and onion in heavy bottom stock pot. Drain excess fat.
- Sprinkle flour on top of onion and bacon mixture. Pour chicken stock, potatoes, salt, and pepper into pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, boil corn for 3-5 minutes. Drain and cut corn off the cob.
- Add corn and cream into pot and heat through. Ladle into bowl and serve with tomatoes and, if desired, cheese.