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CREAMY CHICKEN, POTATO, CHEDDAR AND CORN CHOWDER


4 bacon slices
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups diced chicken from a Market Rotisserie Chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cups diced peeled red potato
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
                                          
2 cups half and half (if you want to make it lighter you could use 2% milk)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Cook the bacon slices in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan; crumble.  Set aside.  Add the butter to the bacon renderings, once butter has melted add the onion, carrot, and garlic to the pan, lightly season with salt and pepper; saute for about 5 minutes.  Add broth and potatoes, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add corn and diced chicken; stir well.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife.  Place flour in a bowl.  Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended, add to the soup.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.  Stir in the cheddar cheese, a little more salt and pepper and the optional cayenne and crushed red pepper.  Stir well.  Top each bowl full with the crumbled bacon and additional cheddar cheese.
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