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Chicken Chowder

I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but it has been cold where I live!  Days (and nights) like this just cry out for hot homemade soup, don't you think?  This is a recipe that I concocted out of about three other recipes.  I thought it turned out well and hope you'll enjoy it too.  It makes enough for 6-8 people.

Chicken Chowder

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes (about 3 Cups)
1 Cup chopped onion (about 1/2 large)
1 Cup chopped celery (about 3 medium stalks)
3/4 lb cooked, cubed chicken (about 2 Cups)
1/2 Cup dehydrated potato flakes OR 3 Tbsp rice flour
2 tsp instant minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
2 cans Swanson chicken broth
2 Cups frozen corn, thawed
1 Cup half-and-half
1/2 Cup cooked, chopped bacon (about 6 slices) (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes, onion, and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.  If you don't have cooked chicken on hand and are using raw, add the raw cubed chicken along with the vegetables and cook it all together.  The chicken will be done about the same time as the vegetables get softened.  If using previously cooked chicken, add it after the vegetables have softened.

Sprinkle the potato flakes or rice flour (or regular flour if you're gluten tolerant) over the chicken and vegetables, mixing in well.  In a small bowl, mix together the instant minced onion, salt, garlic powder and parley flakes.  Add to the chicken/vegetable mix.  Add broth, corn, half-and-half, and bacon, if using.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the flavors have blended and the soup is thickened slightly, about 20-25 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Stay warm!

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