Chowder gets flavor from bacon, corn
Growing up in North Reading, Massachusetts, Billy Reynolds spent summers on Salisbury Beach, feasting on fried whole belly clams from the seafood shack. These days, the Los Gatos, California chef and co-owner of Billy’s Boston Chowder House isn’t eating clams with his toes in the sand. But his authentic chowders take him and his transplanted New England customers back to those days.
This simple corn chowder, flavored with bacon and bay leaves, isn’t on the restaurant’s menu, but it reminds Reynolds of the comforting corn chowders his dad used to make at the peak of summer.
BILLY REYNOLDS’ CORN CHOWDER
4 ears corn, husked
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, cut in 1 / 2-inch dice
2 cups Russet potatoes, cut in 1 / 2-inch dice
2 tablespoons butter (for roux)
2 tablespoons flour (for roux)
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk or half-and-half
2 bay leaves
2 cans creamed corn
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the corn in boiling water for 6 minutes. Cut in half and set aside to cool enough to handle. Cut off corn kernels and set aside.
In a large pan, saute bacon with canola oil over medium heat until crispy, turning three or four times. Set aside until cool, then chop into 1 / 4-inch pieces.
In the same pan, saute the diced onion on medium low until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, milk or half-and-half, bay leaf and bacon. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
In a small saute pan, saute the butter and flour over low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add a cup of the corn chowder broth to the roux, mix well, then add to large pot. Add the corn kernels and creamed corn and cook for 4 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
– Courtesy of Chef Billy Reynolds, Billy’s Boston Chowder House, Los Gatos