Michele Carder, executive chef at Salem Terrace at Harrogate, a fairly new assisted living facility in Salem, made the soup that was voted the best at Sunday’s third annual Souper Bowl charity fundraiser. The event raised some $20,000 for the Roanoke Rescue Mission and Roanoke Area Ministries.
Michele has generously shared her recipe for buffalo chicken chowder with me so that I can pass it along to readers.
According to Michele, her family helped invent the chowder about a week before the event. She and husband Greg held a “test kitchen” event in their house and let sons Landon, 11, and Austin, 5, be judges. It must be great to be her kid! After tasting the first attempt, Michele says, Landon told her she should add more vegetables. Boy, I’ll bet a lot of parents would like to hear those words from their children.
Before her most recent job, Michele owned Michele’s Catering for 12 years. She also owned Michele’s on Main, a restaurant in Salem, and was part-owner of Wasabi’s in downtown Roanoke. After having Austin, she decided the restaurant business was a little too hectic. She says she loves her job at the assisted living center, where “the residents are great.” And lucky, too!
Here is Michele’s recipe. It could be a delicious addition to your Super Bowl menu.
Michele Carder’s Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Serves 6 to 8
If you want to save time, buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and add two more cups of chicken broth. To serve, offer a mini garnish bar with homemade croutons, blue cheese crumbles, celery sticks and extra hot sauce.
1 (3 lb.) fresh, uncooked bone-in chicken
1 stick of butter
1 cup flour
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup (or more, to taste) Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes, fresh or dried
Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in large baking dish. Rub chicken (whole or cut-up) with your favorite seasoning (she used rotisserie chicken seasoning). Add 2 cups of water to pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is done.
2. In a large stock pot, melt a stick of butter. Add celery, onion and green pepper, sauteing over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking another 10 minutes, constantly stirring.
3. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Stir in the chicken broth and juices from the cooked chicken pan. Whisk until roux is dissolved into the liquid.
4. Add the sour cream and mayo, whisking until fully dissolved. Add wing sauce, sherry and seasonings. Bring to a slow boil, cooking uncovered.
5. Pull the chicken meat off the bones and add to the soup. Continue to boil for about an hour, or until chicken has shredded and soup has thickened. If you would like the soup thicker, mix 1/2 cup of cold water with 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch has dissolved. Stir into the boiling soup. Continue doing this until soup is at desired thickness.