Coconut Corn Chowder with Chicken

August 3rd, 2010 at 12:12 pm

The concept of delayed gratification has always been a struggle for me. I’ve never completely grasped the adage, “Good things come to those who wait.”

If I want something now, why can’t I have it now?

Over the years I’ve tried to come to grips with the fact that, in life, you simply can’t always get or do things at the very time that you want to get or do them. It’s just the way it is. You simply have to wait. As a kid, this was always a tough pill to swallow. (i.e., Christmas is just a few days away, so why not open the gifts early?)

With age, I’ve wised up a bit and certainly see the benefits of delayed gratification much more clearly than I did years ago. I’ve found that waiting for something brings a sort of deeper appreciation for it once you do have it. I’ll admit, though, that half the time if I just wait a few days or weeks after the initial “wanting” strikes, I don’t even remember what it is that I wanted in the first place!

Back in February, when the rolling fields of Wisconsin were buried under feet of snow and tree limbs shivered beneath sheaths of ice, I got this craving for a creamy corn chowder. Talk about bad timing. Sweet corn was entirely out of season, and swapping in frozen corn kernels seemed like a pitiful cop-out for the star ingredient of the chowder.

I would have to wait. Six months. The ultimate test of my patience. The ultimate delayed gratification challenge.

But I did my time. I waited. Difficult as it was to overcome the urge to just buy a bag of frozen corn, I pressed on. And let me tell you, the waiting paid off. The reward was sweet.

I made this chowder recently with fresh, organic sweet corn grown just a few miles from my own backyard. One bite, and the whole wait was worth it. Try it now while you can, and savor every last spoonful.

I know I will. If I eat enough of this chowder, I’m holding out that maybe—just maybe—I’ll be able to recall the flavors come February when the cornfields sleep beneath a blanket of snow and summer seems decades away.

Coconut Corn Chowder with Chicken – serves 4

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 ears yellow corn, cut off cobs (2 cobs reserved)

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, peeled and chopped

1 serrano chile, finely chopped

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/3 inch chunks

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

3 cups water

1 generous cup cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

3/4 cup lite coconut milk

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Chopped parsley and lime wedges, for serving

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, corn kernels, bell pepper, celery, and serrano chile. Cook 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender and brown lightly in spots. Add garlic, potatoes, cumin, paprika, and thyme. Stir 1 minute. Add water and reserved corn cobs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until potatoes are just tender.

Using a pair of tongs or slotted spoon, remove and discard corn cobs. Stir in chicken, coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through for 3-5 minutes. Garnish bowls of chowder with parsley. Serve lime wedges on the side for spritzing.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Amy’s always got great recipes cooking up…but right now she’s hosting an exciting giveaway for the avid home cook. Check it out here!

What recipes are you making these days with tasty summer produce?


  1. That looks sooo wonderful, Hallie! I’m still not in soup mode with our heat, but I’d love to make this chowder as soon as it cools off some. :-)


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