This rainy, cold weather in Charlotte had me thinking about creating a recipe for Crab and Corn Chowder. I just love the sweet flavor from the corn and crab paired with the spiciness from the jalapeno. This is honestly a fairly easy recipe and can be finished in about 45 minutes from start to finish.
If you are local to Charlotte, head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. and grab a pound of crab meat. I actually used eight ounces each of back fin and lump in my recipe.
Cut the bacon in small pieces. Add bacon to a soup pot and cook until browned. As the bacon is browning, gently rinse your crab meat in a sifter…I like to use a sifter, so that I do not lose any of the crab. Reserve in fridge.
Once browned, remove bacon and allow to drain on paper towels. Reserve at least two to three tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot. Add the chopped celery, chopped onion, diced potatoes, diced jalapeno, the thyme springs, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
Add back about one-half of the bacon. Allow all of this to soften and get coated in the bacon fat for about four to five minutes.
Dust everything with the flour and allow the flour to cook down for about another four to five minutes. Continually scrape the bottom of the pot so that the flour does not burn.
With the heat turned up, add in the first two cups of chicken broth. The mixture will start to thicken. Add in the remaining cup as needed. You want the mixture to be thin enough for it to simmer…I used almost the entire three cups in mine. Allow everything to simmer until the potatoes have softened…what I mean by soften…they still have enough texture…do not cook so much that they are mushy and/or falling apart…this should take about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Hint: I always count my bay leaves before I put them in a recipe and make sure I take that same number out…you do NOT want anyone biting down on a bay leaf! Add in the heavy whipping cream and Old Bay Seasoning. Allow to simmer another 8 to 10 minutes. Taste to see if you need additional salt. Reduce heat. Add in the corn…I used a combination of Sweet Yellow and White Shoepeg…and gently fold in the crab meat….reserve a few pieces of the lump crab to garnish the top of each bowl.
Allow the corn and crab to warm up. Serve the Corn and Crab Chowder in individual bowls garnished with a few pieces of lump crab, bacon pieces, fresh parsley and a dash of Old Bay. You can also garnish with a few fresh, thin sliced jalapeños. ENJOY!