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Chipotle Chicken Chowder

January 16, 2009

Whatever you do, don’t look at this recipe and think it’s unhealthy.  It’s actually a very lightened up version of chowder, made thick by pureed vegetables and just a touch of cream- about as much per serving as you might have in your morning coffee.  This recipe comes from the Kitchen Sink, and was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, so you know its on the lighter side of chowders.  It’s perfect for this really cold weekend coming up.  You could easily make this vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth and the chicken with cooked black beans.  I think I might try that next time.  Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 t extra of the adobo sauce (I know, you’re thinking- is that enough spice?  Trust me, it is.  If you need it spicier, I’d suggest adding hot sauce to your bowl at the end, but stick with 1 chipotle at first)

2 c chopped onion (of course I didn’t use this since Greg was eating it)

1 c chopped carrot

1/2 c chopped celery

1 t ground cumin

1 t dried herbs de Provence

6 cloves garlic, minced

6 c fat free, less-sodium chicken broth

3 c shredded cooked chicken

2 medium red potatoes (about 12 oz.), cut into 1/2″ dice (I used Yukon Gold and they worked well)

1/4 c whipping cream

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 t salt, or to taste

lime wedges for serving, optional

Directions:

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add chopped chipotle and sauce, onion, and the next 6 ingredients (through the garlic).  Cook until onion is tender, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Turn off heat and puree mixture by either using a submersion (hand) blender or in batches in a regular blender.  If you use a regular blender, let mixture cool for 5 minutes before blending and cover top of blender with a towel and your hand using firm pressure.  Hot liquids expand and pop the top off blenders, so be really, really careful.

Return the pureed mixture to the pan and stir in the potatoes and chicken.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro and cream and  simmer 5 more minutes.  Serve with lime wedges.

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