What’s in a name?

It drives me crazy when people lump food into ethnic categories to which the dish in question has no *real* ethnic ties. Like when I see recipes for things like Thai Chicken-Corn Chowder, made in a slow cooker. First of all, I think I’d be hard-pressed to find a Thai grandma who uses a Crock Pot, and I doubt any true Thai cooks make a habit of combining potatoes, frozen corn, and pre-trimmed chicken breasts with their pre-fab Thai chili paste from a jar.

But hey, that’s fusion, I guess. And it would be more difficult to sort through recipes with names like Typical Boring Shortcut American Corn Chowder Made Better with Kid-Friendly White Meat Chicken, Simmered with Coconut Milk and Red Thai Chili Paste to Present the Illusion that some Thai Cooking Skill was Required.

So I named it Thai Chicken-Corn Chowder.

This soup should freeze well, just make sure to cool it completely (like over night in the refrigerator) before packing it into containers.

Recipe for Thai Chicken-Corn Chowder
Recipe 39 of 365

There’s no better way to feed a crowd than with a warming, exotic-tasting chowder that doesn’t need much babysitting! Look for red Thai chili paste in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store. This recipe is meant for adults—if you’re serving kids, think about starting with about half the chili paste. If you love spicy foods, start with a full tablespoon of paste.

TIME: 30 minutes, plus slow cooking
MAKES: 8 – 10 servings

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in to 1” pieces
2 large onions, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 pound celery, cut into 1/2” half-moons
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups (about 1 liter) chicken broth or homemade stock
2 teaspoons red Thai chili paste (or more, to taste)
1 pound bag frozen corn
2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the chicken, onions, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, ginger, and 3 cups of the chicken broth in the slow cooker. Mix the remaining chicken broth with the chili paste in a small bowl with a whisk, until no lumps remain. Add the spice mixture to the slow cooker, and stir all the ingredients together.

Cook for 6 hours on high (the chowder can be kept on warm for a few hours until dinner time, if needed).

Add the corn and the coconut milk to the chowder, and stir to combine.

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water just to cover the potatoes. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and add to the chowder.

Stir in the cilantro, and serve hot.

1 Comment

Filed under chicken, recipe, soup, Thai

One response to “What’s in a name?

  1. Pingback: A cat named Mochi « hogwash

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