3052. SUMMER CORN and OYSTER CHOWDER with BACON and FENNEL

yields two appetizer servings

4 oz. smoked slab bacon, diced
1/2 small onion, small dice
1/4 cup small dice fennel bulb (reserve tops for garnish)
1/4 cup small dice celery

2 cobs yellow corn, gratedup to 1 cup whole milk10 oysters shucked, liquor retainedsalt to taste
Put the diced bacon in a saute pan over medium heat and cook until the fat has been rendered and the bacon is crispy. Pour off the fat, leaving about 2 teaspoons in the pan with the crispy bacon. Add the onion, celery, and fennel and cook until softened. Remove the pan from the heat for about 30 seconds to allow it to cool slightly, then add the grated corn (it should be very juicy). Return to the heat and stir constantly as it thickens. Once it is bubbling, add half the milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the oysters with their liquor. Stir well and judge consistency; if you prefer it to be a little thinner add a bit more milk to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and heat quickly to desired temperature. Serve at once; if the soup is allowed to stand too long the oysters will overcook and become tough. Serve in warm bowls and garnish with fennel fronds.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Chef Eric Joppie, Bar Avignon, 2138 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97202; Eric Joppie will be participating in Feast Portland (Sunday, September 22, 10 a.m.). Watch Eric Joppie on KATU.com.

2942. CHICKEN and BACON CORN CHOWDER

yields 1½ gallons

1 large (approximately 6 pounds) chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Kosher salt
1/2 pound thick bacon, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 stalks celery, diced
2 medium Spanish onions, diced
2 medium russet or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
8 ears fresh corn, removed from the cob
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 cups heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
To poach the chicken: Combine the chicken, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, pepper and a tablespoon of salt large pot. Add water to cover, at least 3 quarts. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat, skimming occasionally. Skim, add more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered, and continue to gently simmer until the chicken is fully cooked (the juices from the thigh will run clear), about 40 minutes. Drain the chicken reserving the broth. Allow the chicken to cool then remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and refrigerate the meat until ready to make the chowder. Measure out 1 1/2 quarts of the broth and reserve for the chowder. Freeze or refrigerate any remaining broth until needed for another purpose.

To make the chowder: Heat the bacon and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the bacon fat is rendered and the meat firming but not yet crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the potatoes, corn, and thyme. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are fully soft, about 8 additional minutes.

Add the chicken broth to the pot. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and reserved chicken. Return the chowder to a simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into warm bowls and serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: The Red Lion Inn, 30 Main Street, PO Box 954, Stockbridge MA 01262-0954; “Berkshires,” FoodNation With Bobby Flay, Food Network