Smoked Corn Chowder with Crispy Duck Skin

By • August 15, 2010 • 27 Comments

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Author Notes: I have a pretty good relationship with my smoker and it rewards me with many fine meals throughout the summer. Recently, I was looking for a way to satisfy a craving for an earthy corn chowder with shaved truffles we'd had at a local restaurant. Instead of truffles (which would break the bank), I decided to try smoking a portion of the fresh corn to lend some depth to the soup. And since it would be a crime to waste a good smoke, I seasoned a couple of duck breasts, then used some rendered skin in place of bacon in a fairly typical chowder recipe. Adjust the proportion of smoked corn to fresh and try different smoking woods to really make this dish your own. - Minimally InvasiveMinimally Invasive

Food52 Review: We absolutely love this chowder — you’d have to be seriously nuts not to. We used four duck breasts because we had them and it is a good thing because we ate a whole bunch of crispy skin bits before they ever made it to the chowder. The smoked and sweet corn simmered with the cobs and vegetables … summer in a bowl. We had some duck stock in the freezer so we used that for the liquid along with half and half. The whole thing comes together in a perfect balance of smoke and sweet and salt. I ate two bowls and only stopped because I was about to burst. - aargersi
The Editors

Serves 4

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  1. Mix ingredients well and use to season any dark meat before smoking. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container.

Corn Chowder

  • 1 boneless duck breast, split
  • dry rub
  • 6 ears corn, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash and dry duck breasts. With a sharp knife, score skin and fat, being careful not to cut into the meat. Coat both sides of breasts with dry rub and refrigerate uncovered up to one day.
  2. Prepare your smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions, using your preferred smoking wood. Place two ears of corn on the lower rack just above the water pan. Place duck skin side up on the top rack over the corn. Smoke until duck is cooked through, about 40-50 minutes. Remove duck and corn from smoker.
  3. Once corn has cooled enough to handle, cut the kernels from the ears into a large bowl and discard cobs. Cut kernels from the four remaining ears into same bowl and reserve cobs for the stock.
  4. Remove skin from one duck breast half and chop. In a large, heavy pot over low heat, render fat from the skin. Remove crisped skin from pot with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate to cool. Discard any fat over 1 tablespoon that remains in the pot. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the duck fat and increase heat to medium-high.
  5. Sauté onion, bell pepper and celery in duck fat and butter until wilted. Do not brown. Add corn cobs and remaining ingredients through potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Discard corn cobs, thyme sprig, sage and bay leaf.
  6. Transfer soup to blender in batches and purée until smooth. (For a velvety consistency, strain soup through a fine mesh strainer and press on solids to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard solids.) Stir in heavy cream or half-and-half and adjust seasoning to taste. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with crispy duck skin.
Jump to Comments (27)

Tags: corn, duck, savory, Soups, Vegetables

Comments (27) Questions (0)

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Steve_dunn02

over 3 years ago Oui, Chef

Did someone say crispy duck skin? Yes, please! LOVE THIS.

Minimallyinvasive

over 3 years ago Minimally Invasive

Thank you! And I'm really craving duck skin right now - can't wait till the weekend to fire up the smoker.

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over 3 years ago singing_baker

This looks amazing! and I just got duck this past weekend its a sign! love the blog too its fabulous

Minimallyinvasive

over 3 years ago Minimally Invasive

Thank you! Isn't it great when fate decides your meals for you?

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about 4 years ago Laura Frohman

We are having trouble getting a smooth consistency to our soup... what are we doing wrong?

we use the cuisinart, and wind up with yummy flavor but with lumpy soup...

any thoughts.. thanks

love the duck combination

Minimallyinvasive

about 4 years ago Minimally Invasive

Hi Laura - sorry, I should've mentioned that the soup wouldn't be completely smooth! (I thought the consistency worked well enough with the rustic flavors.) If you want it to be smooth and velvety, just force the soup through a mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

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over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hey, all y'all, check out her blog--it's fabulous and her photography is gorgeous!
http://chimeraobscura.com...

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

We got a Camerons one, you need to run the vent because a little bit of smoke escapes - we smoked duck, corn, halibut cheeks, sausage and are about to do steak and peppers. LOVE it!!! It was for sale at the grocery store ...

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This is a reply to below, I clicked wrong I guess! oops!

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

We have a Weber Bullet and a Camerons, and we love both. Totally making this soon!

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You must make it. We got a new stovetop smoker and are completely in love with it!!! Get one!

Minimallyinvasive

over 4 years ago Minimally Invasive

What kind of smoker did you get? I like to think I'll still use my Weber during the winter, but the reality is, I kind of hate the cold.

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This is so freakin' good!! I ate it until I about popped.

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

You jumped on this right before we did for EP - now I *really* can't wait to try it out!

Minimallyinvasive

over 4 years ago Minimally Invasive

How exciting!!! I'm so glad you liked it!

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over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

brilliant recipe! really fabuloso. i need a smoker....

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over 4 years ago The Enchanted Cook

Sounds amazing!

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over 4 years ago meredithhimelfarb

Love love love!

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over 4 years ago TasteFood

Wow - this sounds great.

Minimallyinvasive

over 4 years ago Minimally Invasive

Thanks, everyone -- I hope you like it!

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over 4 years ago gingerroot

This sounds divine (I will admit, duck is my weakness). I am saving this...

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over 4 years ago aliyaleekong

This sounds absolutely delicious. I seriously got hungry reading this. Love the flavor combination!

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over 4 years ago dymnyno

Wow...what an impressive recipe...saved....printed....thumbs up!

Minimallyinvasive

over 4 years ago Minimally Invasive

Thank you! It's my first posting - hope I got it right.

Stringio

over 4 years ago testkitchenette

Amazing!

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Wow, Amy. Fabulous.

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over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Maximally delicious!