Here’s to a happy and healthy 2023! That said, we are changing things up for January. Instead of a sweet treat, we are switching gears and spicing things up a bit! The chilly weather is just right for this chowder, which packs the perfect amount of heat depending on your tolerance level! Chowder is a hearty soup (like a stew) which is typically made with a creamy base made from milk or heavy cream, and meat, vegetables, seafood or fish.

If you like buffalo chicken wings, you are going to absolutely love this soup. It has celery and carrots which we all know pair so well with buffalo chicken. It is made with The Original Franks Hot Sauce. The hearty potatoes are what makes this a winter comfort food.

Olivia finally caught the ‘vid (covid) at the end 2022 so luckily this soup comes together rather quickly. Because of this, we ended up making the recipe separately this month instead of together as usual. Olivia took a shortcut and purchased a rotisserie chicken to then shred. Caroline, however, chopped some chicken breast into bite size pieces and cooked it in the pot before the veggies. You can also cook a chicken breast and shred it yourself. You can do whichever is easiest for you. We have very different spice tolerances so while Olivia’s soup might have been spicy enough to clear her stuffy sinuses, Caroline probably wouldn’t have noticed much of anything. And vice versa, Olivia probably would deem Caroline’s soup practically inedible. You can adjust the heat to taste by adding more or less hot sauce and also adding an optional diced jalapeno pepper.

Ingredients

4 tbsp butter, divided
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks diced (use the leaves of the stalk too. They provide additional flavor and are nutritious!)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup of flour
4 cups of chicken stock (add more if you feel chowder is too thick)
1 pound of cooked shredded chicken
2 tbs – ¼ cup of Franks Red Hot (you can add more if you prefer it to be spicier)
1 jalapeño, diced (optional)
2 peeled Yukon gold or russet potatoes ½ inch dice
1 cup of heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ blue cheese or cheddar cheese (optional)
Bacon (optional for garnish)
Parsley (optional for garnish)

Directions

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery (and optional jalapeño) and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute or so. Do not let your garlic brown. Add additional 2 tablespoons of butter.

3. Mix in the flour and cook until fragrant (you’re making the roux here) about 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly.

4. Add the chicken stock, hot sauce and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until the potatoes are fork tender (about 15-20 minutes).

5. Mix in the chicken, heavy cream and blue or cheddar cheese. Remove from heat when the cheese has melted.

6. Stir in salt and pepper and adjust hot sauce to taste.

7. Garnish with extra crumbles of blue cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, scallions and parsley. You can also drizzle more hot sauce on top!

Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.