For us, the intensely fruity and haunting flavors of this wild mushroom called Chanterelle, which we hunt for in the mountains, combines magically with the fresh corn cob kernels and the smoked bacon umami flavors. And then we add the sweet briny rich crab taste of the sea, all in a creamy Sherry and Tarragon herb broth. It’s one of the most savory and umami packed chowders we’ve ever made.
We have included images of the basic ingredients, and the actual preparation is pretty easy. During wild mushroom season you can experience the joy of hunting for them yourself or simply use urban foraging and find them at your local farmer’s markets and quality grocery stores. Enjoy!
6 ears fresh yellow corn cobs, 4 to cut the kernels off and 2 more to roast over flame
1 pound Chanterelle mushrooms
1 pound crab meat, we use fresh or frozen Dungeness crabs or buy Blue Crab lumps in a refrigerated can
2 pounds Yukon gold yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pound smoked bacon, chopped into bite sized pieces
4 cups chicken bone broth, already reduced from 6 cups broth
2 cups cream
1/4 cup dry Sherry or Marsala
2 onions, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped, white part only
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
2 ounces butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
Carefully cut the kernels off 4 cobs and set aside the kernels and the 4 cobs.
On a BBQ or a broiler flame, sear the last 2 cobs until toasty and caramelized and set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat the 4 cobs (without kernels) in the chicken bone broth on a low simmer for a full 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
In a 12 to 14 inch cast iron pan, on medium heat, fry the bacon until browned and crisp, remove from the heat and chop into bite sized pieces. Pour off all but a tablespoon of bacon drippings.
In the same cast iron pan, add half the butter and the onions, leeks, celery and fennel seeds. Saute until the onions are opaque and the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes and the contents of the large stockpot, including the chicken bone broth. Discard the 4 corn cobs. Simmer until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 8 minutes and then add the corn kernels. Turn off the heat and allow to marry.
In an other cast iron skillet, add the rest of the butter until heated and then the Chanterelles. Saute on high until the mushrooms have released their liquids and then absorbed them again, with a slight sear… about 5 minutes.
Now stir in the Sherry, cream, crab, bacon and the thyme and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Now add all this content to the chowder, along with the BBQ corn cobs, which were cut in half.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with parsley. Enjoy!