Buffalo Chicken Corn Chowder with Blue Cheese Gougères
It is super simple and filled to the brim with corn and tons of buffalo sauce, and to be honest, you do not even need the chicken. So if chicken is not your thing just leave it out, but the bacon? The bacon is killer in this! The flavors go together so well and with the generous sprinkling of blue cheese too?
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Combine the milk, butter, pepper, cayenne and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted. Stir in flour and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir vigorously until mixture forms large dough clumps, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to allow the dough to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs in medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon beaten egg to small bowl and reserve. Add 1/3 of remaining beaten eggs to dough and beat until well incorporated. Add remaining eggs, beating until eggs are completely absorbed after each addition (dough will be sticky). Beat in blue cheese. Drop tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet, forming about 12 -15 mounds and spacing about 1 inch apart. Using a pastry brush, brush each mound with reserved egg, flattening any pointed tops. Bake gougères for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce the to 350 and baked until puffed, golden brown, and dry, about 15-20 minutes longer. They can be made ahead and rewarmed on baking sheet in 350° degree F oven until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with the chowder.
Make the chowder:
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl. Add 1 cup of hot sauce (use a little less for less intense soup) and whisk until combined. Set the buffalo sauce aside.
Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Drain all but 1Tbs. of the bacon fat, if you are skipping the bacon add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken to the pot and sear on all sides for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the buffalo sauce to the chicken and cook until most of the sauce has been absorbed by the chicken, about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. If you need to add a little oil (or bacon fat) to the pot, do so. Add the onions to the pot and sauté 5 minutes. Add the chopped potato and sauté another 5 minutes Add the garlic, paprika, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté another minute. Add the fresh corn to the pot and toss to combine and sauté another 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, remaining buffalo sauce and cream or milk to the pot. Stir to combine. Keep on a low simmer for 15 minutes.
Ladle about half of the soup into a blender or food processor and pulse until creamy (or use an immersion blender and pulse until half the soup is creamy). Pour back into the pot and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Add the chicken back to the pot and cook until the chicken is warm, about 5 minutes.
Top the chowder with the reserved bacon crumbles, the blue cheese Gougères, fresh cilantro, chopped green onions and blue cheese crumbles if desired.
Blue Cheese Gougères slightly adapted from [here. | http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Blue-Cheese-Gougeres-351019]