Southwest Chicken Rice Chowder.

I’m crediting this recipe to Twitter and day drinking. Both of which I recommend, as long as you do so responsibly and not while at work. Unless your profession requires Twitter, day drinking or a combination of the two.

Vacation is a good thing.

Either way this turned out a lot better than I anticipated, which still surprises me because one of the ingredients is Cheese Whiz. Yep, “cheese” from a jar.


Southwest Chicken Rice Chowder, makes 4 cups


1 bag rice (The stuff that cooks in 8-10 minutes. I use Success brand.)

1 can cooked chicken in water, with most of the water drained off

2 Tbs. butter, unsalted

1 Tbs. flour

1/2 large yellow/Spanish onion, diced small to medium (Your choice.)

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 small cloves–or 1 big–garlic, ground into paste (I grate it on a rasp or use the stuff from the tube.)

1 cup frozen or fresh corn

1/3 cup Cheese Whiz

1 cup reserved rice cooking water

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp Sriracha (Optional.)

1/4 cup half n half or heavy cream (Optional.)

Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Fill saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil. Prepare bagged rice according to directions on package and, when cooked, drain and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

2. Return empty saucepan to the heat and melt butter. Saute the onion until soft and translucent, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another couple minutes. Add the flour to the butter and onion mixture and cook into a roux. Cook for at least five minutes to remove the flour taste. Add the reserved rice cooking liquid and cook until thickens.


3. Add the frozen corn, chicken, jalapeno and rice. Once heated through, add the Cheese Whiz and allow it to melt into the soup, stirring regularly. If you want a thinner soup add more water–use 1/4 cup measurements to avoid making it too runny.


4. Once the Cheese Whiz has melted into the soup, season with the oregano, Sriracha and salt and pepper. The cream is optional, but I find it really mellows out the Cheese Whiz flavor, which can be a bit overwhelming.

5. Serve hot with garnishes of diced tomato, cheddar cheese, fresh lime juice and green onion.


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