Chicken Chowder

I can't believe I have never posted this recipe here.  Honestly, this is probably my favorite meal my mom made when I was growing up.  She would make this chowder and a big pan of breadsticks and we children would be in heaven.  One really great thing about this soup is that it is always a big hit, no matter where you take it, or who you serve it to.  Not like Clam Chowder where some people aren't clam lovers.  Everyone will eat chicken, and this soup is perfect on a lovely cold-ish Nov. day.  I always loved it though that my mom didn't care what time of year it was.  We relished this soup in July!  Make some this week and make a pan of Focaccia or Breadsticks as well.  You're little family will love your guts for ever and ever:)

Momma Garner's Chicken Chowder

3-4 chicken breasts or a whole chicken (I think the chicken breasts with the bone and skin still attached makes the best broth, but do what's easiest.)

Place the chicken breasts or chicken in a large pot and cover with water.  Add a little salt and pepper, and if you want an onion and big chunks of celery and carrots to make a yummy broth.  You're going to strain it, and use the broth is the soup.   Bring the chicken to a boil, and then let simmer on the stove until the chicken is tender and cooked through.  I usually do it for 40-60 mins.  Take the chicken out and let cool and then shred it.  Reserve the chicken until the last step of the chowder.   Strain the broth and save it for the soup.

1 big onion chopped
3-4 ribs of celery chopped
2-4 big potatoes chopped (I've used red or russets.  Both work.)
3-4 carrots chopped

I'm never exact on my veggies.  I usually add a lot of them.  Place all the chopped veggies in a large soup pot.  Cover the veggies with the chicken broth from the chicken breasts.  I usually just barely cover the veggies with the water.  That seems to be the perfect amount of liquid for the chowder.  Bring the veggies to a boil, and let simmer away for 20-30 minutes until the veggies are tender.  While the veggies are cooking in a small saucepan add:

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
2 -12 oz cans of evaporated milk, or regular milk works too
1 1/2 t. salt

This is the roux step.  A roux is simply a mixture of fat and flour used to thicken sauces.  I usually make a roux mixture when making gravy.  It's not hard.  In the sauce pan place all of the ingredients together, and stir with a wire whisk.  You just want to keep the flour from turning lumpy so stir constantly.  Once the butter has melted  and the milk has started to bubble, you'll notice the sauce starting to thicken.  It will get REALLY thick.  Don't worry.  You're going to want to cook this mixture until it pulls away from the sides of the pan, and almost creates a dough.  It's perfect.  Once the veggies are tender you can drain a little of the stock and reserve it for later.  You may want to thin your chowder a little after adding the roux.  I just plop the roux right into the veggies and stock.  Use your whisk and stir until the roux is combined.  If you want a thinner chowder add more stock.  Finally just before serving add:

The shredded chicken 
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 T. vinegar

The vinegar is key to this soup.  Something magical happens after you add it.  Heat through and serve!


  1. Delicious, must try this sometime, thanks.

    BTW Come check out The Monthly Blogger event over at The Spanish Wok, ALL bloggers are welcome. See here for details and current theme. You are also welcome to visit our FB page too here.

  2. I can almost taste this now. Looks delicious! I will definitely use the evaporated milk. Thanks.

  3. White vinegar, apple cider vinegar?

    1. I usually use apple cider, but whatever you've got will work. Just not Balsamic:)

  4. When you boil the veggies, do you use water or the already made chicken broth?

    1. Christina I use the chicken broth. Just adds some flavor. Good luck!!

    2. Thank you. Also, for the butter, do you use unsalted or salted? Does it matter?

    3. I use salted because that's what I always have on hand:)

  5. Okay. I'm making this for the second time, and the first time, the roux came together perfectly. This time, it's not forming the "dough"... still very liquidy. I used regular milk (3 cups) + 3/4 c butter + 3/4 flour just like last time, but I added it all at once... Any ideas?! I'm standing over my stove very frustrated. Do you think I should just use the "runny roux" in the soup if it doesn't come together?

    1. Oh Laura! I hope the soup turned out for you. Here's what I would have done. Cried, and yelled and said a few swear words for effect, and then fed the pot to the kitties. I would have called for pizza and called it a night. I've had plenty of those frustrating moments. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. I use plain milk most of the time since I usually don't have evaporated milk. Hopefully the next time will work the way it's suppose to. If not you can totally take my name in vain!

    2. Well, I cried, yelled, said (quite a few) swear words, and used it in the soup anyways. All mixed together, it still tasted delicious. I'm trying it again tonight, so we'll see! It is a delicious, filling soup. Perfect for cold winter days. I'm a college student, so I love that I can make it all in one night and it feeds me for a week! Yum.



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