This chowder is silky and rich with a deep corn flavour and slightly smoky accent from the speck and paprika – in short, everything I want in a good chowder. This is just as good without the chicken, but it's an excellent way to use up any leftovers from a roast, leaving the carcass picked clean and ready to make stock.
2 large Dutch cream potatoes (or similar), scrubbed
3 corn cobs, kernels stripped
250ml full-cream milk
150g speck (or kaiserfleisch), cut into 2cm cubes
50g unsalted butter
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 leeks, white part only, finely sliced into rounds
3 celery stalks, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 thyme sprigs
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
2½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
3 tsp plain flour
2 litres chicken stock
300g leftover roast chicken, diced (optional)
150g sour cream
100g pickled jalapenos
½ bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
2. Leaving the skins on, place the whole potatoes on a tray and bake until tender, about 1 hour.
3. Blitz the corn kernels with the milk in a blender until smooth.
4. In a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, brown the speck (the fat will render out) until caramelised (about 10 minutes).
5. Add the butter, onion, leek, celery, garlic and thyme to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, split the potatoes and crumble their flesh into the corn mix. Discard the skins.
7. Add the paprika and flour to the pan, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, then the corn and potato mix, then the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
8. Turn the heat to low and add the chicken, if using. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a minute or so to warm the chicken.
9. Top with sour cream, jalapenos and coriander and serve with crusty bread on the side.