Potato Corn Chowder via lifeingrace

A dear reader, Robin, did us all a favor today.  She reminded me of the deliciousness of Potato Corn Chowder (the recipe of which was first posted in my Hospitality ebook, but never on here) and so I thought I’d share the recipe with you,  since my originally planned post went haywire and will have to wait until Monday.  Also, the first 10 people to comment on the following statement will get a free copy of the ebook.  “Bacon Fat:  How It Changed My Life.”  After those ten comments, (and surely you dear lovelies have lots to say about bacon fat?), I’ll pick of few more at my discretion.  Don’t forget to read my Ode to Bacon Fat, at the bottom of this post.

On to the recipe.

I’m a huge fan of one pot meals. One pot meals are a beacon of light in a dark, dark world.  One pot meals make life worth living. Okay, maybe that’s overstating it but still.

One pot to clean=one happy momma.

Potato corn chowder= one happy family.

This corn chowder is so easy, so delicious, and is even a crowd pleaser among the youngsters.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 32 oz bag frozen corn (could certainly use fresh corn when it’s in season but the frozen works great too)
  • 1/2 to 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 3 yukon potatoes, peeled and diced 3-4 springs of thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 2 boxes of chicken stock
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 T. bacon fat
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 T. honey

What you’ll do:

  • Melt the butter and bacon fat in a large stock pot and then add the olive oil.
  • Add the chopped onion, red pepper and celery,  a pinch of cayenne pepper and then salt and pepper.  (You’ll reseason at the end but make sure you start the process now for depth of flavor.)
  • Cook these on med high so that the onions will brown a little.
  • When those have sautéed for 4-5 min, add the flour and cook it about a minute.
  • Add all the chicken stock, along with the frozen corn.
  • Add the thyme (you can either put the whole stems with the leaves on them and then remove the stems at the end or pull the leaves off the stems and just add the leaves) and potatoes and cook for 30 min on med heat until the potatoes are tender.
  • When they are tender, add the honey and cream and then reseason as needed. Since there aren’t many seasonings in this soup, I add lots of pepper.
  • Enjoy the some crusty bread!

Ode to bacon fat

Every good Southern woman I know has a jar of bacon fat somewhere in her kitchen.

It’s just as natural as having butter or bread.  Usually it’s stored in a mason jar, but I’ve seen other lovely methods.

Do not ever underestimate the power of bacon fat, and by all means never throw it away.

It adds so much to your cooking and to your personality.    I know my Southern friends won’t leave out this precious step of adding bacon fat to this recipe, but if you’re from Connecticut, you’ll be tempted.

Don’t do it.

Bacon fat rules the world. Corn chowder just isn’t corn chowder without bacon fat.

I am not me without bacon fat.

Love your family well.

Use bacon fat. Amen.

potato corn chowder3

87 comments on “Potato Corn Chowder {and my love affair with bacon fat}”

  1. Yummy! This makes me wish that I lived up in the cold North somewhere so that I could eat soup every day! I must make this for supper tonight!

    Edie, I understand totally why bacon fat is in so many of your recipes! Bacon rivals chocolate in my world. But have you explained before why you put honey in almost everything?

  2. I recently learned about the joys of bacon fat when learning how to cook collard greens. The first time I tried and liked collard greens was from my great-aunt. So naturally when I decided to try to make them for myself, I asked her for how she did it. She hesitated but told me her secret was bacon fat. Naturally, the next time I cooked bacon, I poured off the fat and froze it until I could make the collard greens. I hosted a gathering for some of my northern friends where I made shrimp & grits and collard greens and my bacon fat made it’s debut. The greens were a hit and I believe all the credit goes to the bacon fat.

    I can’t wait to try the chowder! I have been looking for a good potato and corn combo. Two favorites in one place, what could be better!

  3. Amen to the bacon fat! Mine’s in a mason jar too under the counter. I think it grosses my family out a bit when I use it so I have to be stealth, but they always compliment my recipes when I use it.

  4. Oops. When we moved about a week ago, my husband pulled the jar of bacon fat out of the fridge and said “what is this?” I’m going to just get rid of it. I am ashamed to say that I said “ok…” in a moment of packing/cleaning frenzy… Do you forgive me?

  5. When I was about 4, I suppose, I wondered what that gray container with the lid on it was that sat beside the stove. I knew something delicious must be stored in it. One day, I pulled up a chair, took the strainer part out and swallowed a big spoonful. I learned what bacon fat was that day! Okay, that was a little traumatic. I have learned it as I have gotten older to add that spoonful to FOOD to make it more delicious and I do love it, now. I will definitely make the chowder!

  6. Mmmm…Bacon Fat! A requirement of any good Southern cook. I have a glorious mason jar hidden (so no one might actually *gasp* mistakenly throw it out) at the back of my refrigerator. I’ve found that by removing the lid and placing a coffee filter secured with the ring a perfect filtration system (removing all particulates) is formed that will ensuring pristine bacon fat for use as the occasion arises. And, it arises quite often around here! I’m pretty sure bacon (fat or otherwise) makes everything better.

  7. Haha! I grew up with it (in Oklahoma, where there is some debate about our membership in “the South”) as my Momma kept a big quart jar of bacon fat, almost like a naughty secret, wrapped tightly in tin foil. Makes everything better! I don’t keep it anymore, but I do cook plenty of bacon and pour the drippings off for animal food treats. Our cat Fast Woman loves it, as do the chickens.
    Perhaps a new mason jar is in order.

  8. As a child I remember dripping my finger in my mom’s dripping jar that she kept on the store and licking up the goodness and flavor. I’m with you sister from way back. And I would love to get a copy of your ebook. Since I’ve started following you I’ve felt I need it to help me be a better stepmom.
    Thanks
    Holly

  9. I’m from California, right smack in what we affectionately call the salad bowl. Until I was in my teens I don’t think I ever thought of bacon fat. That is until we took a trip out to Oklahoma to visit family. That night my great-aunt Rae cooked okra and green beans in bacon grease. They were amazing! To this day i still recall the taste, and the smell! I don’t use it often, but I do use bacon fat, especially on my green beans and in pastas. MMMMM.

  10. Already pinned… and I can actually find all the ingredients here in France. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. The only thing I have ever done with bacon fat is pour it over my dog’s boring dry dog food to give him a treat. I will have to allow your southern influence to expand my bacon fat repertoire!

  12. Oh. My. Stars. Loved your “Ode to Bacon”. My kitchen would not be complete without my mason jar full of bacon fat. Just opening the lid, scooping out a spoonful, and watching it melt in the pan…mmmm, that smell…puts me right back in my Mema’s kitchen. Love it when I cook with bacon fat and the kids come running in the kitchen and say – It smells like Mimi’s!

  13. You know when people ask, “If health wasn’t an issue and you could only eat one thing the rest of your life what would it be?” I might just have to say bacon. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  14. Edie-
    This looks fantastic. I have recently discovered I have allergies to starch, grains & dairy. I cook I’m not 🙂 However, I have recently had to take on that responsibility in our home. In your future cooking posts can you share a great soup (aside from vegetable) that doesn’t include starch, grain or dairy.
    Sometimes, honestly, I’m willing to pay the price & consume these ingredients.
    I was raised in the South on corn that was cooked in a black iron skillet with butter AND bacon grease AND sugar too. With the cobb scraped as well.
    Have a spectacular day-
    Julia

  15. Just having a conversation yesterday with my new brother-in-law about why I keep a mason jar of bacon grease by my stove. DUH! He’s from Oregon, so he gets a pass. IMHO, there’s no point to green beans not cooked in bacon fat.

  16. This is the second potato corn chowder soup that passed over my screen today. I think this one is staying, though. [wink] Bacon absolutely does make things better. I love eggs for breakfast and save the bacon grease so that I can get double the brain food every morning! LOL! Sounds good anyway, Yes?

    BTW…I’ve been kickin’ around a huge pumpkin…it needs to be cooked. I haven’t forgotten your pumpkin chipotle soup. The family is concerned about what the chipotle will be like in the soup. Help! I need to persuade the troops!

  17. Eermerrgerrrd! I love bacon bacon bacon! And I truly love making the soups you post on your blog 🙂 and hey the blog page looks super awesome – you shifted the stuff to the left! Nice change up! so glad you are part of this world and that you let me enter yours.

    XOXO

  18. I agree about one pot meals!! I have made potato soup and I have made corn chowder but never together. Looks like I’ll have to try this! I think I need to use more bacon fat too. 😉

  19. Do you mean there are people who DON’T keep bacon fat?!? *gasp!* Mine is in a mason jar in the door of the fridge. I have 3 boys who eat bacon like it’s going out of style to the point where I have had to limit them to 3 pieces each morning.

  20. Yummo!! We are getting ready for more cold weather to move in and this soup will definitely hit the spot. Just threw out some bacon fat this past weekend. Shame on me. I will blame my Midwest roots! Never I again I tell ya!! You inspire me in so many ways!! Thank you for you being you!!

  21. Ahhhhh, sister, you are on fire. You are speaking my language. Have been since the year has started. I am so glad someone has because it has been a rough way to go so far, however, things are looking up with so many blessings shining in my face, including you speaking directly to my heart with each and every post. I might start to sound like a broken record.
    So, last night we had your creamy mushroom soup for the first time. I just finished off the last of it I snuck out of the house this morning, along with the crusty bread left. When I first read this post I was seriously thinking of the chowder tonight but after eating my lunch decided my jeans might want me to at least wait a day. Oh, I have been doing weekly menus, but seem to substitute when the mood hits me . . . Frequently. I am improving.
    And as far as bacon fat goes . . . I currently have two mason jars full so I have either a)been cooking too much bacon lately or b) not using enough bacon fat in whatever I have been cooking. It is a rare occasion to find this much in my fridge at once. I better get to using it. We will see how the jeans about it later.
    God Bless you my friend. Oh, and I love your picture on the left of your blog. It is great. Your love and mischief shine through.

  22. I have to say bacon fat did not change my life, it was just a way of life. My lineage contains several good southern cooks and bacon fat in a jar beside the stove was common. To not have one was well, uncommon. To this day, I find I can relate better to people who are okay with this type of ingredient in their cooking over the ones who aren’t. We seem to understand one another just a little bit better. So keep on saving and separating those drippings, they add a little more love to the dish!

  23. Edie-
    This looks fantastic. I have recently discovered I have allergies to starch, grains & dairy. I cook I’m not 🙂 However, I have recently had to take on that responsibility in our home. In your future cooking posts can you share a great soup (aside from vegetable) that doesn’t include starch, grain or dairy.
    Sometimes, honestly, I’m willing to pay the price & consume these ingredients.
    I was raised in the South on corn that was cooked in a black iron skillet with butter AND bacon grease AND sugar too. With the cobb scraped as well. Best pan fried corn with cornbread patties EVER!
    Have a spectacular day-
    Julia

  24. Ha! The dangers of bacon fat: Several years ago in the Smokies the extended family was sharing a cabin and the bacon grease had been saved in a mug on the counter (obviously we were going to NEED that later). Down comes the 10 year old and proceeds to lather it upon her toast. The adults are sipping their coffee incredulously (and wondering if perhaps she knows something we don’t…) when she spits it out and wails, “Oh! I thought that was the whipped honey we bought yesterday!” We still tease her about that but we are now more responsible with our bacon drippings.

  25. IT’s WHAT’s FOR DINNER !!!!

    Yes, I’m printing this recipe and just happen to be leaving work for the day. It’s snowing outside and COLD. I’m stopping at the grocery and making sure I have all these ingredients and then home to make a pot for my husband me tonight for dinner.

    Do ya think it goes good with a glass of wine? I’ll have to try it and see. ha ha ha.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks delicious and perfert for the Indiana, snowy Winter day we are having.

    ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

  26. I get awesome thick-sliced Amish bacon at the local butcher and save every drop of the fat that renders off. I always have a jar or two in the fridge. I use it exclusively for cooking eggs and omlettes, browning stew meat and roasts, and whenever I can in chicken dishes. Family meals have to be gluten and dairy free at my house, which has been a huge transition and I’ve had to mourn the loss of many of my favorite dishes (or settle for not-quite-satisfying substitutions) so my bacon-fat is much loved and cherished!

  27. In my neck of the woods, Whidbey Island WA, we can walk on to take the ferry to Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. We always get off and walk a block to The Public House where we order their Potato Corn Chowder with an add-on of dungeness crab. I’m making that with your Potato Corn Chowder recipe!

  28. Oh, bacon fat, how I love it! It seasons so many dishes & makes the house smell like breakfast all day long…. ahhhh…LOL! I’m making this chowder for supper tonight! Thanks,
    Edie!

  29. Happy to find this, just love me some bacon! I do have a ?, over the holidays someone took my bacon fat jar out of the freezer and left on the counter, I didn’t notice it for several days and almost threw it out. It sounds like many of you leave your fat laying out on the counter all the time. It doesn’t go bad? I can still use it without it causing problems? Would love to hear from y’all.

  30. Hi Edie! This looks delicious! Reminds me of the Seafood Chowder my Grandma used to make every New Years Day! Same exact recipe! (minus the corn, add the scallops, shrimp and crab!) We’d go over there and devour it while watching the Rose Bowl – great memories! After she passed away, and I started my own family I carried on the tradition. Can’t leave out the bacon grease! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  31. Hi Edie! I have been reading your blog for some time, but this is my first comment. I have loved going through and reading about your faith, so thank you for sharing. I have really been trying to figure out how to bring more Faith to my life. Didn’t really have any growing up, and I just don’t know ‘how’ to do it but I feel that His word has been calling me for some time now. Your story has been helpful for me. Also, thank you so much for posting your recipe. It looks AMAZING! And, if I am not to late. ”Bacon Fat: How It Changed My Life.” Thanks again Edie! 🙂

  32. I think I’m a southern girl at heart, even though I was born and raised in California. I *always* have a jar of bacon fat in my refrigerator. But, then again, I also have goose fat!

  33. Now I surely don’t want to bring down this bacon celebration, but I thought it was bad for you? And with your background as a physician I do wonder about all the butter and bacon fat that your delicious recipes have. Unfortunately I have high cholesterol and rarely indulge in something as yummy as this, though I would probably make it for my family on occasion.

  34. I am also from the CA salad bowl (as another reader commented)…but I am all in on the bacon fat! However, I need some help-do you just fry up a load of bacon & keep the grease, or collect it little by little? Also, once you have it how long & where do you store it (refrig, countertop)? Thanks!

  35. Did you know that bacon fat is actually good for you? Well, quality bacon fat from good, healthy, clean animals fed well, anyway! I did not know that, but I am glad I found out! The guilt went out the window when I did, and certainly a little bacon fat cannot hurt me, remembering that moderation to all good things is key!!
    Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

  36. Well how ’bout this?
    I mix up my homemade buttermilk pancakes and “fry” them in a bit of bacon drippings on my cast iron griddle. With a dad from Louisiana and a mother from Mississippi, you know I’ve eaten my share of bacon fat. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now but your last few posts on vocation have been such a treasure. It’s good, common sense with the anointing of the TRUTH that sets one free.

  37. Oh Edie! I promise to save the bacon fat next time I cook bacon. I’m a Yankee (born in NJ) and now a Californian so my mama didn’t tell me about bacon fat.
    Love the new look of your blog, although I did miss the scrapbooky look at first.

  38. We are some bacon fat fans!! And your ode kindles many a bacon fat memory/story. Did you know bacon fat is quite tasty straight up, frozen? And even better when coated in Hershey’s syrup!? When my dad was a little boy he helped himself to some “chocolate” ice cream. At least that’s what the tub said. He claims the taste was good, just not very chocolatey. So he added Hershey’s syrup. And had just about finished his bowl when the maid came in and had a fit. He’d eaten her BACON GREASE!

  39. My people have been in the Blue Ridge since before the Revolutionary War and I’d bet my bottom dollar that one of ’em tucked up a small crock of bacon grease to bring along to the New World with her.

    We didn’t have electricity when I was a kid, so no fridge or air conditioning, and I never heard of it ever going bad. Too much salt to do so, I would think. (Like the barrel of salt pork we had and an un-airconditioned smokehouse full of ham)

    I keep my bacon grease right next to the stove, in an old pottery beanpot.

    And Jenn’s Dad wins the Internetz!

  40. So much truth in your posts lately! Today is no exception! I use bacon fat in everything. I hoard mason jars filled with bacon fat all year long to use in the enormous amount of corn that we freeze every summer! If you cook it at the time you are freezing, it is so easy to prepare at meal time! Thanks, Edie. I’m enjoying everything your doing. You are really speaking to my heart!

  41. Bacon fat rules! All my life my mother, aunts & grandmother used it to season everything. My favorite aunt made the most incredible fried okra…with bacon drippings of course. That’s when I learned how great fried okra tasted! 🙂

    This recipe is a keeper ~ can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing.

    xo
    Pat

  42. I live in MN, but I have a jar of bacon fat in my frig and I am going to use it to make this chowder!! My mother taught be about bacon fat. =)

  43. I broke up with a high school boyfriend when he poured bacon fat down a drain! He turned out pretty well though, in spite of that error of judgement!

  44. Edie, I love your blog, your writing, your vision, your recipes, and I love potatoes. But I CANNOT use bacon fat! I’m a Reformed Vegetarian–it is not in me to use bacon fat. But another pat of butter I can do! (Making this tonight!)

  45. And to think I JUST threw away bacon fat yesterday. Shame on me. Having lived in the south my entire life, I’ve never thought to store my mason jar o’ fat in the pantry- it has always lived in my freezer. I believe that each day we can learn one great, new tip, and today it’s your tip on bacon fat!! My husband, and children, thank you! Who’d a thunk it.

  46. Two things I’m thankful Jesus gives to us: salvation and bacon. 🙂
    My grandmother taught me about bacon fat… she used to keep a crock and ladle at the back of the stove because it makes all things delicious!

  47. My mom always had a small, white crockery milk pitcher in her fridge with bacon fat in it. Always. When mom passed away, in my fervor to make sure dad wouldn’t overindulge in all the wrong kinds of food, I snuck that thing out of the fridge and…..you might want to close your eyes……into the trash. Daddy died just a few months after Mom, after 51 years of marriage, and honestly? I wish I’d left him the bacon fat to enjoy and that I still had that white milk pitcher full of wonderful bacon fat in my own fridge.

  48. posting anonymously to say that when my husband grills thick-cut bacon on our charcoal grill… he gets lucky. 😉 It’s so delicious!

  49. Being from Connecticut, I don’t understand the fascination with bacon fat. In fact, I microwave my bacon so the fat collects in a paper towel. Can you just believe it? I guess I’ll have to break down, cook some bacon in a frying pan and pour the fat into a container. Otherwise, how will I ever make that delicious looking soup?

  50. Edie, thank you, thank you for all you write. Thanks for reminding me of my mom- a farm girl from IOWA- I grew up with a mug of bacon fat ready to go in the fridge. I had forgotten it until this post- Oh how I miss her AND please know the mid-west Lutheran girl would absolutely agree with your southern ways!

  51. I can beat anyone’s bacon comment with the following “true” story! Years ago my husband had a very HUGE, very PAINFUL boil at the end of his tailbone… Yes, can you imagine the pain??? My father, having been raised a country boy with lots of “home remedies”, told him how to cure the boil. He suggested my husband place a piece of bacon fat with a penny on top of it inside a bandage covering the boil (to draw out the puss). And yes, my husband tried it…of course he ended up having to have it lanced by a doctor later that day (who commented that he smelled like bacon!)

  52. We always ‘harvest’ the bacon fat! It just adds such good flavor (& texture!) to retried beans, or whatever else. I almost threw my husband out when he cleaned out the fridge and tossed out the reserved bacon fat! Now I write BACON FAT on the Saran so I don’t have to be without either of them. lol

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