|8 strips bacon (1/2lb), chopped|
|1 rib celery, chopped|
|1 large shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped|
|2 cloves garlic, minced|
|1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)|
|2 Tablespoons gluten-free or all-purpose flour (see notes for brand used)|
|2 cups chicken broth, divided|
|2 cups 2% milk|
|4 cups 1 inch cubed Russet potatoes|
|8oz freshly shredded Pepper Jack cheese|
|2 green onions, chopped|
In a small bowl whisk together 2 Tablespoons flour with 1/4 cup chicken broth then set aside.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat then add chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then remove all but 1 Tablespoon bacon grease from the pot. Add celery and shallots, season with pepper, and then saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes then saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add remaining 1-3/4 cups chicken broth, milk, potatoes, and lots of freshly cracked pepper to the pot then turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.�Slowly drizzle in flour/chicken broth mixture then stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until chowder has thickened and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Remove pot from heat then add shredded cheese about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until completely smooth before adding the next batch. Stir in 1/2 the cooked bacon then serve with remaining chopped bacon, and chopped green onions.