Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicken Poblano Chowder

1/4 cup olive oil
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/8 cup minced garlic
2 to 3 small poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (you can use black pepper as well)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or more to taste
1 tablespoon “better than bouillon”
3 quarts chicken broth
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, minced
3 cups diced (large pieces) chicken
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste (optional)
1 cup raw milk

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, poblano peppers, salt, white pepper, cumin, and thyme. Saute for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the better than bouillon. In a separate pot, boil the chicken in the broth. Remove the chicken and cut into small pieces. Then add the chicken and the broth to the vegetables in the stockpot along with the cilantro. Simmer apx. 20 minutes. Shortly before the chowder is done, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes to cook the flour. Ladle 1 cup of the hot liquid from the stockpot into the skillet, whisking constantly.
When the first cup of liquid is incorporated, add another 2 cups of liquid, 1 at a time. Pour the mixture from the skillet into the stockpot, whisking to blend. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the hot sauce, then the milk, and serve.

Tips: Better than bouillon can be found with the chicken bouillon cubes in most grocery stores. This is a great all natural alternative to the cubes and has wonderful flavor.

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