Chef Sin’s Corn-Crab Chowder

Created September 2012

Serves 8

When a coworker delivered a truckload of picked-that-very morning corn to our workplace last month, I knew I wanted to try corn chowder (the kernels went from field to freezer in under 6 hours!). But we also had some leftover Costco crab (Hey, we live in Idaho.) (And actually, the pasteurized Costco crab is great stuff. We first tried it after reading a recommendation from chef Tom Douglas.)

Anyway, I poured over lots of crab-corn chowder recipes from famous chefs and lowly food bloggers alike, but I couldn’t find one that really rang my bell.

I rejected recipes that used heavy cream as the main liquid, but I thought at least a bit of that lovely white stuff was needed. And I couldn’t conceive of a chowder that didn’t include potatoes, which, surprisingly, weren’t in some of the recipes I looked at.

Then I happened upon a corn chowder recipe in which the creator, “Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond ( used chipotles as a flavoring and talked about using masa as thickener instead of flour. As Emeril used to say in his younger days, “Yeah, baby!”

I printed out Drummond’s recipe and two other basic chowder recipes, took what I liked best from each of them (some bacon here, some potatoes there, and definitely the chipotles), and came up with this lovely concoction.

— Chef Sin


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 Yukon potatoes, cut into ½ cubes
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp masa (can use flour, but masa adds great corn taste)
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 cups nonfat milk
  • 3-4 cups corn kernels, scraped fresh from the cob, or frozen kernels
  • 8 ounces cooked lump crab meat


  1. Cook bacon in a deep pot over moderate heat. Drain cooked bacon on paper towels. Leave 3 tbsp bacon fat in the pot.
  2. Add butter to the pot, as well as carrots, celery, onion, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and chipotle. Saute 10 minutes, then sprinkle in masa. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in broth and clam juice. Add potatoes and bring to boil. Cook 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in milk and cream, corn, and crab meat. Bring soup back to simmer and cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Add crumbled bacon and adjust seasonings.

One thought on “Chef Sin’s Corn-Crab Chowder”

  1. Masa, huh? I’ve got to try that. I made corn chowder tonight, coincidentally, but used white beans and mushrooms for the texture and heft (and because I had some, frankly.) Great weeknight food/next-day lunch.

    Looking forward to more posts, Stupides!

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