Every family has their go-to snow day recipes, don’t they? For my family, that recipe as always been grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and my Aunt Debbie’s famous Chicken Corn Chowder! I sometimes call it our “Snow Day Soup,” because we make a big pot anytime the snow begins to coat the ground and we know we’re going to be hunkered in for a few days. This recipe makes about 10 servings, so for our family of 3 it’s more than enough to keep us fed through a long snowy weekend!
This is one of those recipes that has been in my family for as long as I can remember. Growing up going skiing with my parents and aunt and uncle, we all used to gather in their condo at Snowshoe and my Aunt Debbie would make a giant pot of this amazing soup! Now, the first thing you should know about my Aunt Debbie is that she could rival any iron chef cook. She was making Pie-Cake-en before it was cool, and her pecan pies always look like they could be on the cover of Southern Living. I aspire for my bakes to be as beautiful as hers!
With that said, it’s pretty rare to see Debbie making anything that isn’t completely from scratch. And at our ski home-away-from-home at Snowshoe, where there are no grocery stores, we all had to get a bit creative with our meals. I think that is how and why Debbie dreamed up this heavenly but oh-so-easy chicken corn chowder for us to all enjoy. My mom loved it so much that she wrote down the recipe years ago and still has her handwritten copy to this day. The best part? It’s written in a crayon she stole from me while I was coloring! Even better, if you check the back of the page there’s some vital medical information about my dad that had to do with his torn ACL recovery (an injury he sustained while skiing, by the way.) So just let that sink in. This recipe is so good that my mom didn’t think twice about using a crayon to overwrite medical information about her husband’s major leg injury.
Begin by trimming any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Season each side with salt and pepper, then place in a large pot. Cover the chicken breasts with about 1 inch of water, cover, then heat to boiling. Once the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken breasts are cooked through (about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts).
Once done, remove the breasts to a plate and allow them to rest. Meanwhile, drain the pot, wipe clean, and return to the stove. Pour the cream soups, mexicorn, mushrooms, chopped green chilies, and chicken broth into the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
While the soup is simmering, dice the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. After the 20 minutes have passed, add the diced chicken to the soup. Continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, then add the half and half. Stir well to combine.
Once the half and half is incorporated and up to temperature, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese.
Stir well to incorporate. Serve immediately! And don’t worry, this soup will feed an army of hungry skiers, so there will be plenty of leftovers. Which is especially great, because I think this soup is even better the next day!
- 4 large chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
- 2 10.5 oz cans cream of potato soup
- 2 (11 oz) cans mexicorn
- 1 14.5 oz can mushroom pieces and stems
- 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies, partially drained
- 16 oz low sodium chicken broth
- 1.5 c fat free half and half
- 2 c (1 8 oz bag) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Liberally season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on each side, then place in a large pot. Pour cold water over top of the chicken breasts, covering them with about one inch of water. Place on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Simmer until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of each breast.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, remove from the water and set aside to rest. Empty the pot, rinse, dry and return to the stove.
- Add the cream of chicken and cream of potato, mexicorn, mushrooms, chopped green chilies, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer and stir well to incorporate all ingredients. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
- While the soup is simmering, dice the cooked chicken breast. After 20 minutes have passed, add the diced chicken to the soup. Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes, then add the half and half. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the half and half is warmed and well incorporated.
- Remove the soup from the heat and add in the cheese. Stir well to incorporate. Serve immediately and enjoy.
- PS, this is one of those “even better the next day” recipes, so be sure to save some leftovers for later! Just keep the soup in the pot and reheat as necessary!