Last updated on May 23rd, 2023
Warm up on a chilly evening with a bowl of rich and creamy poblano chicken chowder. Shredded chicken, roasted poblano peppers, wild rice, vegetables and spices create a warm and inviting flavor.
When the weather turns cool, there is nothing I love more than hunkering down in my warm house with a bowl of hearty, creamy chowder. This creamy chicken chowder is a little unique – roasted poblano peppers and cumin give it a bit of Latin American flair. But it’s down home enough that it just might become your new favorite comfort food.
Prepare the Chicken
Whenever I have a recipe that calls for both cooked chicken and chicken broth, I like to kill two birds with one stone. Chicken thighs are my go-to cut for just about any recipe because they are cheap, they have more flavor and they shred beautifully.
Remove the skin from four chicken thigh pieces. Place the thighs in a large stock pot and cover with six cups of water. I typically place a little more water in the pot than I need to allow for evaporation. Boil for 20-30 minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside until cool to the touch. Save the broth. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, remove the meat from the bone and shred. This can be done ahead of time.
Cook the Wild Rice
Before we get started, we need to start ½ cup of wild rice cooking. Wild rice is actually not rice at all. It’s a type of grass that grows in water. You usually find it mixed with long grain rice in those seasoned rice boxes – this is not what we want. In my grocery store, I am usually able to find one brand that sells just the wild rice by itself.
Wild rice takes longer to cook that normal long grain rice. That’s why I like to getting it going first so it can be cooking while I prepare everything else. Normally, I would tell you to cook the rice according to the package directions – in my case, 60 minutes. I found this to be way too long. By that time, many of the kernels have burst open. I found cooking the rice for 30-45 minutes produced much better results. Some of the kernels may still burst open, that’s okay!
How to Roast Poblano Peppers
Poblano peppers are a very mild chili pepper. Roasting poblanos is a very common way to cook them, which is what we are going to do here. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the stem and part of the very top of two . Then carefully scoop out the seeds and membrane. Throw away the stem and the seeds.
Place the peppers on a baking sheet. You can coat the baking sheet to prevent the peppers from sticking, but no need to coat the peppers with oil themselves. Place the peppers on the middle rack and roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
Once the peppers are done roasting, they should be charred in places. Allow the peppers to cool slightly, then gently remove the thin, top outer layer of skin and discard. Chop the roasted peppers and set aside.
How to Make Poblano Chicken Chowder
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add one cup of peeled, sliced carrots, 1/2 cup of diced celery and one cup of chopped onion. Cook the vegetables until the onion is soft and starts to look translucent. This should take about 5-6 minutes.
Next, add three cloves of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, one teaspoon ground black pepper, two teaspoons of cumin, and the chopped, roasted poblano peppers. Cook until you can start to smell the garlic, about 30 seconds.
Add ¾ cup of all-purpose flour to pot and stir until flour is incorporated. Cook the mixture for about three minutes to get the raw flour taste out. Be sure to stir constantly to prevent the flour from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
Add five cups of the chicken broth you made earlier to the pot. Whisk constantly to get out any lumps. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until mixture begins to thicken, about 12 minutes.
Stir in two cups of whole milk, ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper, and the cooked wild rice. Cook until mixture thickens again, about 5-10 more minutes. Season the chicken chowder with salt and additional pepper to taste.
How to Store Poblano Chicken Chowder
Cooled, leftover chicken chowder should be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Eat within five days. Chicken chowder can also be frozen for up to three months. Thaw before reheating. While heating, stir frequently to prevent the whole milk from separating.
More Chowder Recipes:
Poblano Chicken Chowder with Wild Rice
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 2 large Poblano peppers seeded
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 cup carrots peeled, diced
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 1 cup onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3-4 cups cooked chicken shredded
- Place wild rice in a large saucepan. Cover with 2 1/2 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, the reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Drain off excess water and set aside.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the stems and seeds from the Polano peppers. Place them on a greased cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until the outsides start to become charred in places. Allow peppers to become cool enough to touch, then remove and discard the thin outer skin. Chop the peppers into smaller pieces.
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, pepper and cumin. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add flour to pot and stir until flour is incorporated. Cook mixture for about three minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until mixture begins to thicken, about 12 minutes.
- Stir in whole milk, cayenne pepper, shredded chicken, wild rice and roasted peppers. Cook until mixture thickens again, about 5-10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.