I remember the first time I made this chowder. I was so excited to make it because it sounded tasty so I picked up all the ingredients and got started. Peeling the butternut squash was (and is) a pain. I didn't let it beat me and I started assembling the chowder in my pot. Only at the time the largest pot I had was not big enough! I had to stop in the middle of making the chowder and run to Target for a bigger pot! These days I have several large pots, including the stock pot I had to buy on that first chowder making day. So if you give it a try (and you should!) make sure you have a large pot. It makes a lot but it reheats really well.
Yield: Makes 10 servings
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 medium onions, chopped
2 cups chopped red bell peppers (about 2 large)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
9 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (cut from one 1 3/4-pound squash)
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 16-ounce bags frozen corn kernels
1 cup whipping cream
4 cups diced skinned roast chicken
2 cups chopped green onions
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Cook bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1/4 cup drippings from pot. Add butter to pot; melt over medium-high heat. Add onions and 1 cup bell peppers. Sauté until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 2 minutes. Mix in broth, then squash, potatoes, and thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until squash and potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add corn, cream, and 1 cup bell peppers. Simmer until corn is tender, about 10 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Add chicken, 1 cup green onions, and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle chowder into bowls; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup green onions and 2 tablespoons cilantro and bacon.