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Crock Pot Southwestern Corn Chowder with Chicken and Green Chiles
- 3 cups nonfat milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 16-ounce bag frozen corn kernels
- 3 cups frozen O'Brien potatoes (cubed hash brown potatoes with onions and peppers)
- 2 cups frozen diced onions (see note)
- 2 14 3/4-ounce cans cream-style corn
- 1 16-ounce jar of your favorite salsa (see note)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans (preferably organic or reduced-sodium), rinsed and drained
- 1 4-ounce or 4.25-ounce can diced green chiles, undrained
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- For serving: chopped cilantro and shredded, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, if desired
- Directly in your slow cooker insert, whisk together milk and cornstarch.
- Add corn, potatoes, onions, cream-style corn, salsa, black beans, green chiles, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, black pepper, and oregano. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add chicken breasts to mixture, pushing them to the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cook on low (6-8 hours), or on high (5 hours).
- Just before serving, use two forks to shred chicken. Or, remove chicken from slow cooker onto a plate or cutting board and cut it into small cubes, and then return chicken to chowder in slow cooker.
- Serve chowder sprinkled with cilantro and cheese, if desired.
Frozen onions: For this recipe (as in our Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder and our Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes), we prefer to use frozen diced onions (as well as the frozen corn and potatoes) for two reasons. First, this saves the step of chopping the onions yourself and allows you to easily keep more of the ingredients for this corn chowder on hand for last-minute meals. Much more importantly, however, the frozen onions cook down better and become softer in the crock pot, especially if you're cooking this chowder at the faster end of the recommended cooking times. You can substitute fresh onion, chopped to equal 2 cups, if you would prefer your onions to be a bit more firm and crunchy in the final chowder.
Salsa: The salsa is a great way to easily vary the spiciness and flavor profile of this chowder. Choose mild, medium or spicy salsa, depending on your family's preferences.
Make-ahead and freezing tips: This corn chowder makes a really big batch, and it reheats beautifully on the stovetop or in the microwave, for lunches or additional dinners later in the week. It also freezes well, in an airtight freezer-safe container.