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DIY Disney Recipe: Nebraska Corn Chowder from Storytellers Cafe

This week, guest chef Carol returns with one of my FAVORITE recipes! This time she cooks up the Corn Chowder from the Storytellers Café at the Grand Californian in the Disneyland Resort!

So, I’d never been to Disneyland California until just recently! I know, I know, but please hear me out before you judge! I grew up in Central Florida…in Walt Disney World’s backyard.

But recently, I made my first trip to Disneyland! It was just like the commercials…you know with all the families making memories together! We were there with my husband’s family including our two cute, adorable li’l nieces! I couldn’t wait to wear those fun Family Reunion pins.

The first thing I did when I found out we were going was make my foodie list…of course! I also dug into my Disney cookbooks to start making fun dishes at home to get us excited about the trip.

I was excited to find several fun recipes from Disneyland California in my Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook. The Storytellers Cafe Corn Chowder definitely caught my eye, since my grocery store is full of fresh, sweet corn right now. The recipe is served fresh every day in the Storytellers Café at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Resort, and it’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened.

Storyteller's Cafe Corn Chowder -- as served in the restaurant

This recipe is super easy to make and can be ready to serve the same night you make it! So, let’s get started:

Ingredients

This is a great one to make during the Summer when you’ve got all kinds of fresh sweet corn at the farmers’ markets and grocery stores!

Corn Chowder Ingredients.

-4 ears fresh corn, unshucked
-2 slices bacon, diced
-1 tbsp diced onion
-1 tsp chopped garlic
-1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
-4 cups chicken stock
-6 tbsp butter
-6 tbsp all-purpose flour
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 cup pulled chicken meat
-4-6 slices bacon for garnish
-Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
-Hot sauce, to taste
-Chopped Cilantro, for garnish

Yield: 4-8 servings

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: To roast corn, put whole ears in their husks on baking sheet. On a second baking sheet, place 2 chicken breasts and 4-6 strips of bacon. Put both baking sheets into preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Corn, Bacon, and Chicken Breasts ready for the oven!

Corn, Bacon, and Chicken Breasts out from the oven.

Step 3: Set aside crisp bacon to use for garnish later. Take 2 forks and pull cooked chicken.

Pulled Chicken.

Step 4: Cool briefly, then peel back the husks and cut the kernels off the cobs; set aside.

Cut the kernels off the cobs.

Corn.

Step 5: Dice two pieces of raw bacon.

Dice bacon.

Step 6: Sauté diced raw bacon in a big pot.

Sautee two slices of raw, diced bacon.

Step 7: Dice 1/4 of onion and 1 clove of garlic.

That will give you just over the 1 tbsp and 1 tsp respectively.

Dice onion and garlic.

Step 8: Drain all but 1 tbsp of fat and add onion and garlic and sauté until transparent but not brown.

(I didn’t drain my pot…wasn’t much more than 1 tbsp of fat in the pot from 2 pieces of bacon.)

Sautee onion and garlic.

Step 9: Peel and dice Yukon Gold potato.

Peel and dice potato.

Step 10: Add the roasted corn and potato to the pot.

Add corn and potato.

Step 11: Add chicken stock to pot. Bring to a simmer.

Add chicken stock to pot.

Bring to a simmer. Cover.

Step 12: Meanwhile, in a separate sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, incorporating with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring, until mixture begins to loosen slightly.

Melt butter.

Add flour.

Step 13: Let mixture cool.

Step 14: Add the cooled butter/flour mixture to the simmering broth, incorporating with a wire whisk. Stir often to keep from sticking to the bottom of pan. Simmer 30-40 minutes.

This is the thickening agent for your chowder…it’s how your dish starts to become a thick chowder instead of a regular broth based soup!

Add mixture to broth.

Mixture added to broth.

Step 15: Add the heavy cream and pulled chicken meat, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Additional ingredients.

Additional ingredients in pan.

Corn Chowder in pan.

Step 16: Ladle into bowls and top with garnish of bacon and fresh chopped cilantro.

Garnish and serve!

step 17: Serve with a fresh salad and fresh rolls.

Enjoy!!!

Corn Chowder Presentation with Rolls and Salad.

This is a fantastic dish to serve your guests on the back deck at your summer kickoff party! Your family and friends will love you! Here’s to the Summer, DFB fans!

A Few Lessons I Learned

As with all recipes, you usually find helpful ways to make it easier while you’re in the process of cooking. This section is filled with helpful hints that I learned while making this recipe and doing research on some of the ingredients! I hope they help you, too!

-I made the recipe in the order listed in the cookbook, but I found it would have been much easier to sautée the butter and flour mixture in the prep time just after putting the corn, chicken and bacon into the oven and before starting the recipe. That way it has plenty of time to cool it down before adding it to the chowder.

-The recipe just calls for one cup of pulled chicken meat. I added the part about baking the chicken in the oven, because it takes the same amount of time to cook as roasting the corn. My family aren’t fans of dark meat, so I find that it’s easier to cook the chicken breasts to use for my chowder. You can also buy a precooked chicken and pull the chicken that way, too.

-I could only find small Yukon Gold potatoes, so I used two small potatoes in place of the one potato from the recipe ingredient list.

-Throw the pans of corn, chicken and bacon into the oven for 25-30 minutes in the morning when you get up and are getting ready. That way that step is done when you get home at night and you can jump right into making the chowder!

Does this sound like a dish you’d like to try at home? Let us know in the comments below!

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15 Comments

  1. Deana says:

    I love the way you take pics as you go… and they always look SO nice. Great job! :) Will have to try this, but do you think it would ‘work’ without the chicken and bacon (and using veggie stock instead of chicken) ?

  2. Zola says:

    There have been SO many recipes lately. Don’t take this the wrong way but that isn’t why I come here. Would love to see more updates of reviews….including in depth reviews of the baked goods at MSB. I’d also like to see more information about what you get with DDp credits at what restaurants. The occasional recipe is fine, but it’s become mostly recioes with a scattering of snacks…

  3. Valerie says:

    Love the recipe. Will have to try it for the weekend. Good way to use up leftover chicken too.

  4. Kate says:

    I’ve actually made Storyteller’s Clam chowder twice & it was SOOOOO good both time. It is time consuming but worth it. We had a warm winter so I didn’t get to make it this year. :( I will have to try this recipe too!

  5. :-) says:

    Great photos. I love that pot!

  6. Carol E. says:

    Deana- Thank you so much for your very kind words!! I really enjoy cooking and making these dishes:) You can definitely make this the way you mentioned…the flavor will be a lil bit different, but it shouldn’t affect it too much if you are looking to make a vegan version.

    Valerie- Yes, it’s great to use for all the leftovers!

    Kate-Yum! Ill have to try the clam chowder sometime! Let me know how this one turns out for you!!!

    :-)- Thanks for the kind words about my photos and my pot! I love it!!! It was a wedding present:)

  7. Jeremy says:

    I making this as I type this. I added a bit more bacon and some dark meat to give the soup a bit more flavor. Can’t wait to try it.

  8. Jessica says:

    am just waiting on the last simmer of adding everything together. looking forward to how everythiing tastes.

  9. Carol E. says:

    Jeremy and Jessica- how did it turn out for you?

  10. Claire says:

    This turned out so good!I I didn’t have heavy cream and used whole milk instead,I used bacon but didn’t have chicken still it turned out so very good, will make this again.

  11. Brandon says:

    I made this on Sunday and OH EM GEEEEEEE! It is soooo good! Maybe I’m just slow, but it took 2.5 hours from start to finish. Making the roux during the baking time as suggested helped a lot too! I also added a little sprinkle of cheddar on my bowl and it was quite tasty! This will serve a family – being a single guy, I’ll be cutting it in half next time. Definitely try it!

  12. Claire and Brandon…so glad it turned out well for you and you enjoyed the recipe!:)

  13. Debi says:

    My daughters ADORE chicken corn chowder, and I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow, so I’ll be adding these ingredients (that I don’t already have) to my list. Think I’ll make the clam chowder for me.

  14. Kymberli says:

    I love this recipe and have been making it for years. One way I cut down on prep is by purchasing the 12 ounce bag of roasted corn in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s. Saves me a step and it tastes great. Thanks for the step-by-step pictures and tips.

  15. Stacy says:

    Hello – I did this in slightly different order, so that I used only one pot. And I used 2 big potatoes and 3 ears of corn. First, I cooked the bacon, then, in the same pot, I cooked the chicken in a little butter and chicken broth, seasoned with s&p and cumin, removed from the pan and diced. Added the garlic and flour to the fat in the pan to brown, then the chicken stock, then the milk (instead of half and half). When that started to bubble, I added the diced potatoes, hot sauce (I used fire salsa), roasted corn and the previously cooked chicken. Simmered until the potatoes were tender. We topped ours with cheese, yum!

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