Grilled Corn and Chicken Avocado Chowder. One of my fave soups. Filling and healthy! (Recipe originally published in September- 2013/updated August 2021)
I love this late summer chowder. A soup I always make in August. I suppose it can be made year round, you can use frozen corn in the off season. I love using late summer sweet corn along with the creamy avocados.
What is so great about this recipe is most of the work is done on the grill and in the blender. The rest of the cooking is to heat everything through before serving.
One of life's greatest pleasures is cutting into an avocado and it is absolutely perfect. No blemishes, no brown spots. Just buttery and perfect.
The avocados I get from Rincon Tropics are still perfect even if they seem like they are a few days past when they should be good. Nope. Still absolutely beautiful. And perfect for this chowder recipe.
The Avocado festival in Carpinteria, Ca, near where I grew up serves up avocado ice cream every year along with all their other treats. I am working on my version of it since theirs is, well... not good.
But what is really really good is this chowder. Lets get into how to make it:
How do you make chicken avocado chowder?
I start with grilling the corn, chicken, avocado - yes the avocado gets grilled, as well as charring the jalapeño and garlic. Grilling a large portion of the ingredients lends the smoky flavor to the chowder a well as cuts down the time with a portion of the recipe since these can be grilled at the same time.
While these items are grilling, I sauté a diced white onion in a large pot (not pictured). I use a 6 quart dutch oven, a large stainless pot works well too.
Let the corn cool and chicken rest. I cool the jalapeño enough to peel off as much of the charred skin that I can, as well as peel the charred garlic. I
add these to the blender with the sautéed onion and then add in the grilled avocado. Scoop the avocado out of the peel and add that to the blender, discard the peels.
Next add in the lime juice, coconut milk and half of the broth and the seasonings. This gets blended until super smooth.
While I am blending those ingredients I quickly shred the chicken and cut the corn of the cobs. I save some of the corn for garnish.
I add oil to the dutch oven that I sautéed the onion in and add the mixture from the blender along with the corn and chicken and heat until simmering. Which only takes a few minutes.
Last step is to taste, season with more salt, pepper or lime if desired and then the chowder is ready to be served.
Garnishes include, fresh cilantro, lime slices, sliced jalapeño, cotija cheese and tortilla strips. I fry my own tortilla strips form cut corn tortillas, feel free to do that as well ( instructions in recipe) or add crushed up store bought chips.
A few more notes about this grilled corn and chicken avocado chowder recipe first:
- The base of the flavors of this chowder come from grilling the corn, chicken and avocado. I have only made this chowder this way. If you choose to substitute frozen corn or pre-cooked chicken the taste and texture will vary.
- If you do want to use pre-cooked chicken I suggest using a rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken you can shred instead of chicken strips.
- Frozen corn, thawed, will be more watery than grilled fresh corn.
- Grilling the avocados enhances their flavor and creaminess. You only grill these for a few minutes.
- I use 1-2 jalapeños, if you want a spicier soup you can use more, keep the ribs and seeds in or opt for a spicer chile such as serrano.
- I like making my own corn tortilla strips for this chowder. I will either fry them in a cast iron pan or spray with oil and bake in the oven until crisp while the soup is simmering.
- This soup uses full cat canned coconut milk, if you chose another milk know that the flavor profile will change. Feel free to experiment with what you like to use. but do know that if I haven't tested the recipe with what you use, I cannot guarantee same results as the original recipe.
- I love adding salty cotija cheese for one of the garnishes, if you want to keep the entire meal dairy free, feel free to omit the cheese or use a non-dairy substitute.
- This soup keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. Use deli containers for freezing. Thaw in refrigerator overnight or on the counter in a pan of shallow water if needing to thaw faster.
- This chowder is excellent served hot or cold.
- The recipe seems like there are a lot of steps but it's more like a lot of things done at once. Chicken, corn, avocados and chiles are grilled/charred at the same time. Onion and garlic are sautéed and charred. Then the blending step can be done along with cutting the corn off the cobs and shredding the chicken. Read the recipe a few times first to determine which steps can be done at the same time that work best for you. If you have a grill pan you can char the garlic on the pan while the other grilled items are cooking so you don't have to char those on a separate pan on your stove.
- 4- whole cobs of corn, silks removed, husks still on
- 1.5-2 pounds chicken ( breast or thighs) grilled and shredded ( about 3-4 cups)
- Oil, salt and pepper for the chicken
- 4 large avocados, cut in half, pits removed, lightly brushed with oil ( around 4 cups mashed)
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1-2 Jalapeño or serrano peppers (more for spicier chowder)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced (6 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1-2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- Juice and zest of 2 medium limes (2-3 teaspoon zest, 3-4 tablespoon juice)
- 1 ½ cups full fat canned coconut milk (13.5 ounce can of coconut milk)
- 4 cups chicken broth, divided (1000ml)
- 6-8 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- high heat oil such as peanut, coconut or avocado
- Cotija Cheese, crumbled
- Cilantro, chopped
- Jalapeno, sliced
- 1-2 limes, sliced into wedges
- Chunks of corn from one of the grilled corn cobs
- hot sauce
- Preheat your grill to medium high. Peel back the husks on the corn and remove the silks, wrap back in the husks. Season the chicken with a little oil, salt and pepper. Place the corn on one side of the grill and the chicken on the other. Char the corn, turning often and grill the chicken to internal temp of 165 Deg. F, flipping 2-3 times while grilling. Around 20 minutes of grilling. Transfer the chicken and corn to a platter to rest while you lightly grill the avocados cut side down and char the chiles. 2-3 minutes for the avocados, 4-5 minutes for the chiles. Let everything cool long enough to handle.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat and place the whole garlic cloves on the pan and heat until starting to brown and soften. Turn the garlic once in a while to get all sides. This takes about 5 minutes. This can be done while the chicken and corn are resting. If you have a grill pan that can go on your grill you can char the garlic there.
- Heat a tablespoon of high heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and the diced onion. Cook until starting to caramelize, about 7-8 minutes. This could be done while the corn and chicken are grilling to save time, just don't forget to check on the onions and stir once in a while. Or do this step while they are resting, whatever works best for you and your timing and space. Transfer the onions to a blender and leave the dutch oven or pot on low heat.
- Once the chicken and corn are cool enough to handle, shred the chicken using two forks. Cut the corn off the cobs, cutting it in larger chunks off of one of the cops for garnish. Break the rest up into smaller pieces and place in a bowl.
- Peel the garlic and chile peppers, remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and place both in the blender with the sautéed onions. Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and add to the blender, add in the cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, lime zest and juice, coconut milk, 2 cups of the chicken broth. Blend until very smooth.
- Pour the avocado puree into the Dutch oven and raise the heat to medium-high, add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth, taste and season with the salt and pepper. Add in the corn and the shredded chicken and stir well. Bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and cover.
- Heat oven to 400 deg F. Cut the corn tortillas into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet and toss with high heat oil, or spray with oil. . Bake until crispy, stirring often. About 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the strips on a paper towel, season with salt. You can also fry these in a pan on your stove top if you like. Sometimes I will fry the strips in a cast iron pan in a half an inch or so of oil, stirring occasionally until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined sheet and sprinkle with salt. I find frying in a pan takes a little longer if making a lot of tortilla strips.
- When ready to serve, ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with crumbled cotija cheese, jalapeno or serrano chile slices, cilantro, grilled corn pieces and the tortilla strips. Serve hot.
- This chowder keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. Can also be served cold.
To make this "Paleo" omit the corn and tortillas.
You can use either light or full fat coconut milk. I prefer full fat.
If you want more heat add another jalapeno or serrano and leave the seeds in
This soup is great served hot or cold
If you have a pile of avocados and want to try something different from guacamole one night, try this soup. We loved it. My kids loved that there were chips in it. Which they picked out and ate them all first. Typical.
Other delicious avocado recipes: