Cozy up with a comforting bowl of this homemade Chicken Corn Chowder. This creamy and hearty soup is the perfect blend of tender chicken, sweet corn, and bold Cajun seasoning.
Looking for a vegetarian chowder? You’ll love my Roasted Cauliflower Corn Chowder.
Every time we’re in Seattle, we stop in at Duke’s Seafood, a Seattle staple famous for their amazing chowders. I think it’s pretty cool that Duke’s includes a printed recipe of one of their four different chowders with every order.
Their irresistible Ragin’ Cajun Chicken and Corn Chowder is loaded with chicken, sweet corn, and bits of potato in a Cajun seasoned creamy chowder base. Hello flavor! That little printed recipe that was delivered with our meal was all the inspiration I needed to get to work in my kitchen.
I made a few tweaks to create this easy Chicken Corn Chowder recipe and it totally hits the spot! I love being able to satisfy restaurant cravings at home.
Table of contents
- Chicken: A couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small (½-inch-ish) pieces.
- Seasoning: I use my homemade Kickin’ Cajun Seasoning Mix but you can use store-bought Cajun seasoning, if you’d like. You’ll also need a little cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Corn: A few ears of sweet corn kernels cut from the cob. If fresh sweet corn is not available, frozen corn straight from the freezer will do the trick.
- Other veggies: Baby red potatoes, yellow onion, celery, and minced garlic.
- Broth: Duke’s recipe specifically calls for using chicken base which is a great way to make a slightly richer, more flavorful broth than the canned variety. I make my broth with reduced sodium Better than Bullion Chicken Base.
- Cream/Milk: A combination heavy whipping cream and whole milk gives a nice balance to the chowder base without making it too rich or heavy. You’ll also need butter for sautéing ingredients and making the roux.
- Fresh herbs: A little fresh cilantro and parsley to wake up the flavors.
- Toppings: This soup is delicious served with a dollop of sour cream some colorful diced bell peppers.
How to Make Chicken Corn Chowder
Before beginning, partially cook the potatoes at a low simmer in boiling water until they’re just barely fork tender. Drain and set the potatoes aside.
- Chicken: Season the chicken with Cajun seasoning and sauté it in melted butter in a Dutch oven until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set it aside.
- Aromatics and the roux: Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the same pot and add the onions, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Then, add the flour and stir well to incorporate to create a roux. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes more to lightly toast the roux.
- Broth: Slowly add the chicken broth to the roux, a little at a time, stirring as you add it to smooth out any lumps. Increase the heat as needed to bring the broth just to a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remaining ingredients: Add the cream, milk, cooked potatoes, cooked chicken, corn, remaining Cajun seasoning, black pepper, cumin, parsley, and cilantro. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and let the chowder cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes and corn are tender. Remove from the heat and allow the chowder to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to thicken slightly more.
Tips for the Best Chicken Corn Chowder
Fresh Corn: When at all possible, opt for ears of fresh sweet corn for the best taste and texture. Frozen sweet corn is a close second. Just add it straight from the freezer to the hot chowder and it will cook through in nothing flat.
Parboil the Potatoes: In order for the potatoes to be perfectly tender, it’s important they be partially cooked prior to adding them to the soup. Cook them until they are just barely fork tender and they will finish cooking when they are added to the hot chowder.
Sautéing the Aromatics: In this step, you don’t want to brown the onion, celery, and garlic. Just sauté them in butter over low heat until tender.
Richness: Adjust the ratio of heavy cream to whole milk to create a level of richness that suits your taste. More cream will create a richer result.
Don’t Boil the Chowder: Once you’ve added the cream and milk, avoid bringing the chowder to a boil to prevent it from curdling. Keep it at a gentle simmer until heated through.
Finish with Fresh Herbs: Fresh cilantro and parsley are added just before serving to maintain their vibrant color and flavor. You can add additional fresh herbs as a garnish, if you’d like.
Garnish: Set out diced bell peppers, sour cream and additional chopped cilantro and parsley to add a pop of color, texture, and great flavor to individual servings. For an extra bit of heat, add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Breads: Chicken Corn Chowder is substantial enough to make a meal with some bread on the side. Add a batch of Rustic Sweet Cornbread, easy-peasy Mexican Cornbread or some Cheater Garlic Bread for dipping.
Transfer leftover Chicken Corn Chowder to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Cream based soups are not the best candidates for freezing since the cream and milk can separate and take on a grainy texture when thawed and reheated.
Chicken Corn Chowder
- ½ pound baby red potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, about 2 breasts, cut into small (½-inch) pieces
- 5 teaspoons Kickin’ Cajun Seasoning, or store-bought Cajun seasoning, divided
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup diced sweet yellow onions
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, made with chicken base (I use Better than Boullion)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups sweet corn kernels from 2 to 3 ears corn or frozen corn, if frozen, don’t thaw
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt, to taste and only if needed
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
- Sour cream, for serving
- Bell peppers, green, yellow and/or red, finely diced or thinly julienne-sliced, for serving
- Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover by about 1-inch. Place the pot over HIGH heat and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil then reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely fork tender (don’t overcook as they’ll cook more later). Drain and set the potatoes aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter over MEDIUM heat. Add the chicken and 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, and sauté until cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Return the pot to MEDIUM-LOW heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Then, add the flour and stir well to incorporate to create a roux. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes more to lightly toast the roux. Lower the heat as needed to prevent the roux from browning.
- Slowly add the chicken broth to the roux, a little at a time, stirring as you add it to smooth out any lumps. Increase the heat to MEDIUM or as needed to bring just to a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cream, milk, cooked potatoes, cooked chicken, corn, remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, black pepper, cumin, parsley, and cilantro. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to LOW and let the chowder cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes and corn are tender. Should not boil but hot enough to continue thickening.
- Remove from the heat and allow the chowder to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with a small dollop of sour cream and a small amount of peppers.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.