Tender chicken, fresh corn, and potatoes cooked in a fiery rich tomato broth flavored with bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, and Calabrian peppers and topped with crispy homemade bacon bits in less than an hour, creating the easiest spicy Calabrian pepper tomato chicken chowder ever.
Robust Zesty Chowder
Satisfy your spicy cravings with a bowl of the Easy Spicy Calabrian Pepper Tomato Chicken Chowder recipe. Bursting with Calabrian chilies' bold and invigorating essence, this chowder promises a combination of flavors that lift your soup experience to new heights.
Including Calabrian chilies gives a spicy kick that sets this dish apart from other chowders, providing a perfect balance of heat and savory tomato richness. The depth of flavor in every spoonful is a testament to the careful infusion of ingredients, creating a robust and enjoyable meal.
This chowder is a testament to the harmonious marriage of spicy Calabrian peppers, juicy chicken, crisp fresh corn, tender potatoes, and the comforting warmth of a rich tomato broth. Yum!
Try More Comforting Tradition Soup Recipes with a Twist:
- Pumpkin Gnocchi Chicken Soup
- Creamy Spicy Sweet Potato Chicken and Dumplings
- Aleppo Pepper Spiced Dill Lentil Chicken Soup
Begin by heating a Dutch oven and cooking the uncured apple-smoked wood bacon, then setting it aside. Then lightly sear the salt and pepper seasoned boneless skinless chicken breast to a golden brown in the bacon and olive oil mixture, then set it aside.
Combine and sweat the aromatics of Campari tomatoes, onions, celery, green bell peppers, and garlic cloves with dried thyme in the pot. Then, complete the soup base with crushed Calabrian chili peppers, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, and smoked paprika powder.
This will cook down to create a depth of flavor; then, you will add the chicken chunks, Yukon gold potatoes, fresh corn kernels, and low-sodium chicken broth with salt to a simmer. When the potatoes are tender, add the parsley. To serve, bowl the soup and top with the crispy bacon bits and fresh parsley.
See the spicy chicken chowder recipe card for quantities. Also, check the FAQ section to learn more about the Calabrian chili paste.
Use the following step-by-step picture tutorial as a reference with cooking tips.
To easily dice bacon, cut it while it is partially frozen. Learn more about this technique. Then, cook the bacon until it reaches a dark brown color.
Add olive oil to the bacon oil and cook the chicken. Spread the chicken out evenly and let it sit to seal in the juices.
Combining tomatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic with thyme will create the aromatic base for the dish.
The fire-roasted tomatoes already bring in so much flavor and will be a great flavor building when added along with the crushed Calabrian peppers to break down.
The tomato soup base will be ready when it turns into a rich red, dark color and the vegetables are tender.
The chicken, corn, and potatoes are added at this point to tenderize the chicken and cook the vegetables simultaneously.
Low-sodium chicken broth was used since we will season the soup ourselves along the way, controlling the salt intake.
We eat with our eyes. Finish the soup with parsley to give it a bright red and green contrast.
Serve the soup, and enjoy!
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. In addition, some related detailed steps can be found there.
If you love Calabrian peppers as much as I do, you must try the Spatchcock-Style Roasted Spicy Calabrian Chicken with acorn squash, red onion, and sweet potatoes.
- Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon - Try turkey bacon and double the olive oil since the turkey bacon does not produce enough oil to cook the chicken later.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - For convenience, use shredded rotisserie chicken. Skip cooking the chicken and add the chicken at the end of the recipe when instructed. Or try whole skinless chicken thighs; once cooked, shred them and add them back to the soup at the end.
- Dried Thyme - Use fresh time but half of the unit quantity mentioned in the recipe. Or use an Italian seasoning blend.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - Try russet, but Yukon Gold potatoes hold better and have a creamier texture.
- Fresh Corn Kernels - Use frozen or canned corn; just be aware the texture of the corn will be more chewy.
- Campari Tomatoes - These are preferred due to their balance of acidity and sweetness, but you can replace them with regular fresh tomatoes. I suggest removing the tomato seeds and large dicing them. Or just use cherry tomatoes; the acidity might be a little higher and require a little more cooking down, though.
- Tomatoes - Try tomato paste and cook it down a little longer to remove the acidity and to break down the paste in the oil to turn it into a rich, dark red color.
- Crushed Fire-Roasted Tomatoes - Try replacing it with San Marzano tomatoes.
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking by adding more or less of the crushed spicy chili paste and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
Creamy Tomato Soup - Use heavy cream to make this chowder cream for best results.
Dutch Oven - A heavy bottom pot is needed to brown the bacon and cook the thick stew-like chowder without burning. If using a thinner pot, keep an eye on it and constantly stir to prevent sticking the bottom of the pan or burning.
This recipe was developed using the Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, which does an amazing job. And I love this pot because you can place it on the grill and the oven.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, the best way is to place the chowder in a shallow 2-inch container to cool down quickly. Then, store it in an airtight container. As a result, the meal will last up to four days.
- Freezer - Follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container or flat in a labeled freezer resealable bag.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
Tasting the soup during cooking is a great way to build delicious flavor to your taste preference regarding the salt content, fresh herbs, canned tomatoes, and chili peppers.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can find it at Trader Joe's in the canned goods section labeled "Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce Fermented Crushed Calabrian Chili Peppers," which is really delicious with a subtle sweetness. I've also found a great alternative on Amazon: Tutto Calabria's Crushed Calabrian Chili Pepper. For convenience, you can also find the Trader Joe's version on Amazon.
Italian Bomba sauce is a fiery and flavorful condiment hailing from the Calabria region in Italy. Packed with a potent blend of Calabrian chili peppers, olive oil, and sundried tomatoes, this spicy concoction adds a burst of heat and robust taste to any dish, making it a versatile and indispensable element in Italian cuisine.
Calabrian peppers are red little peppers originating from the Calabria region in Southern Italy. Known for their intense chili heat and fruity undertones, these peppers are a key ingredient in many Italian dishes, contributing a fiery kick and distinctive flavor profile to various sauces, soups, and other culinary creations.
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- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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