Amish cheesy chicken chowder

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March 27, 2013 by Kimberly Beauchamp, ND

(Republished from Eat Happy.)

amish-chix-chowderI love all things Amish. There, I said it. I am obsessed with the Amish lifestyle, I’ve read Amish novels, I love to drive the back roads of Amish country, and generally pretend that I’d be able to make it for more than a week if I were to be adopted by the Amish people.

So naturally, I’m also drawn to Amish food.

I searched for what I thought would be the most authentic Amish cookbook and came up with Lovina Eicher’s The Amish Cook at Home. I remember my friend, Alycia, just shaking her head when she saw it on my counter. “Oh, Kim,” was all she could say.

It wasn’t until I took a close look at some of the recipes, though, that my delusions of Amish grandeur (or austerity, I guess) started to crumble. Could it really be true that these people who won’t use a zipper to make life a little easier would use Velveeta in their every day cooking? And instant potatoes? And condensed cream of mushroom soup? Oh, please, say it isn’t so.

After I got over my initial disappointment, I decided to do as I always do when I really want to eat something that I shouldn’t. I give it a real food make over.

This recipe was inspired by one that I found in Lovina’s cookbook. Thank you, Lovina. And here’s to your ancestors’ ways.

I like to use chicken stock from a bird that I’ve cooked for another meal. I just add about 9 cups of water to a large stockpot with the chicken and whatever veggies I cooked it with and put it on a burner on medium-low heat (covered) for several hours, until all the wonderful flavors of the bird have infused the water. Then I take the chicken out (and anything else that’s fallen apart in the pot) and remove any of the remaining meat for use in the soup.

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1″ pieces

8 cups chicken stock

1 medium yellow onion

1 cup carrots, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 T EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

3 cups yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 cups cooked chicken

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup milk

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions

In a large stock pot, heat chicken stock over medium. When stock is simmering, add cauliflower and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer in batches to a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until most of the lumps are gone.

In a large skillet, heat EVOO over medium and add onions. Cook until onions become translucent, then add celery and cook for another minute. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

When veggies are tender, add them to the stock pot along with the potatoes. When potatoes begin to get tender (in about 8 minutes), add cooked chicken.

Next, add the corn, milk, and mozzarella cheese, in that order, stirring well between additions. Continue cooking until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and enjoy with your favorite crusty bread.

Eat Happy!

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