By Lisa Bicknell
CV&T News Editor
Leap day was established to keep our calendars from getting all out of whack.
A few interesting traditions have arisen surrounding Leap Day, including the old Irish Legend that says St. Brigid made a deal with St. Patrick that women could propose to men on that day.
Somehow, Leap Day has managed to avoid the commercialization and hoopla of other holidays. Apparently, no one has figured out how to make money off it-yet.
I couldn’t find any Leap Day food traditions when I did a google search either. That doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any, but it means they must not be on the interwebs for me to discover.
So, maybe I’ll start a new tradition.
Leap Day is on Monday this year. Mondays are manic for many of us, typically a very busy work day. Yet we still have to eat, don’t we?
During the winter, I frequently prepare a soup or chili on Sunday, something we can warm up for the craziest day of the week.
I think I’ll try this recipe, which is sort of a marriage between chicken noodle soup and potato soup.
Ladies, I’ll bet if you get this one right, that man you propose to on Leap Day will answer with “Yes!”
Chicken and Potato Chowder
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk, or more, as needed
2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in chicken and cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 40 minutes, Yield: 6 servings