Friday, April 11, 2014

Chicken and Beer Cheese Soup

I suppose that the best description for the weather in East Tennessee lately is "confused".

We have frost warnings one day and a few days later we are enjoying highs in the 80's.  So don't blame me if it is Spring and I am serving a luscious, rich soup that seems more like it belongs in in the cold dark heart of January. 

I am finishing up the last steps of my book and it has been sent off to the design people this week.  I wanted to re-shoot one of the recipes so I ended up with an extra Skillet Grilled Chicken Verde on hand.

My youngest son devoured the legs and wings just for a snack - he's a teenager working out every day getting ready for summer football workouts for high school, so he's allowed to eat like that.  I decided to use some of the leftovers for this Chicken and Beer Cheese Soup.  It's thick and rich and....I need to go work off some of these calories!

For the chiles for this batch I went very mild. I used a 1/2 cup of diced red bell pepper, 1/4 cup of diced poblano, and 1/4 cup of diced Anaheim.  For the cheese, I used a blend of mozzarella, Colby jack, and some of our smoked Fontina cheese. 

Chicken and Beer Cheese Soup
makes:  8-10 servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  45 minutes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced chiles 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 12 ounces amber style beer
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 4 cups shredded cheese
  • 2 cups finely diced grilled chicken
  • 1 can yellow corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups half and half
  • kosher salt to taste
For serving
  • bacon crumbles, Mexican crema, cilantro, and/or hot sauce
  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onion and chiles and lightly season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.  Saute until the vegetables are softened and translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring until all flour has been incorporated into a blond roux.  Whisk in the been a 1/4 cup at a time while continuously whisking, until the roux is combined with the beer.  Then whisk in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder, paprika, garlic and chile powder.  Once that comes to a simmer, let it cook for 10 minutes.
  3. [Optional]  If you like a smoother texture, use an immersion blender at this point to break down the veggies and smooth out the soup base.
  4. Stir in the cheese in small (1/4 cup) amounts until melted and blended in.
  5. Stir in the chicken and corn and cook for 5 more minutes just to heat through.
  6. Remove from heat and fold in the half and half to the soup base.  
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt.  We used about 3/4 teaspoon, perhaps a little more.  
  8. Serve with bacon crumbles, Mexican crema, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce.
The Kamado Smoker and Grill Cookbook
As I mentioned, everything has been sent off to the designers and my book is becoming a reality.  It isn't just a collection of recipes.   I wrote it for the people who are new to the kamado style grill or people who haven't done much exploring with theirs.  Each of the 52 sections covers a technique, trick, or tip that I like to use on a kamado grill, a recipe to practice that tip, and suggestions for something to try next with that skill.  My goal is that by the time someone works through all of the sections, they should have mastered their kamado. 

It is available for pre-order now on Amazon (the cover shown there was an early mock up) and I will be doing a giveaway this coming week.   Stay tuned.

2014 Blogger Party
Here is the latest on our annual blogger party.  I'm excited to see everyone again and know the food will be excellent as usual.  We're also going to bring a kamado grill to make fresh pizzas by the lake!
Larry (Big Dude's Eclectic Ramblings) and I have discussed this year’s Blogger Party and have settled on the date of Saturday, June 7.  At the suggestion of Dave (Inspired ByeRecipe Cards), this year we will be asking you to join us at the East Tennessee Italian Fest where we will be pretending we are on a dock at the Amalfi Coast enjoying Neapolitan and other Italian cuisines.  We’ll be serving up a pasta bar, salad, and bread along with appetizers and dessert.

Our plan is to ask some of the attendees to bring their favorite sauces for the pasta as well as some other items.  In early May, we’ll be back with more details and an RSVP request so please mark your calendar and be thinking about the menu.  If you plan to attend and already know you’d like to provide something (sauce, dessert, etc), please go ahead and let us know.  Larry's email is:

Please feel free to advertise this on your blogs.