Fish Chowder Recipe

Fish Chowder


1½ pounds haddock fillets, cut into pieces

1 pound other fish fillet, such as salmon, cod, skate, or a mixture

4 slices smoked bacon, diced

2 medium onions, diced

1 tablespoon butter, if needed

4 large peeled potatoes, diced

½ cup diced celery

 1  cup chopped peeled carrot

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 cups fish stock or clam juice, divided

1 quart  whole milk

2 tablespoons butter

Simmer the fish fillets in 2 cups water for 6 minutes in a covered pan. Drain, reserving broth. In a large pot, cook the bacon over low heat until crispy and the fat is rendered. Leaving the fat in the pot, remove the bacon and drain on paper towel. Set aside and crumble . This will be used as a topping for the chowder.

Sauté onions in bacon fat until golden. (Add butter if needed.) Do not brown. Stir in potatoes, celery, carrots, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the reserved fish broth plus one cup fish stock or clam juice. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower the heat to simmer. Cover pot and let the chowder simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Cut fillets into small pieces. Add to soup. Simmer 5 more minutes. Add milk and butter, and heat thoroughly over low heat. Do not bring to a boil. This chowder should not be too thick. You can add more fish stock, clam juice, or milk to thin it if it seems gloppy. Adjust seasonings.

Serve chowder in warm bowls, with crispy bacon crumbles on top of each bowl.  

Serves 6 to 8.

 Along with the chowder, offer bread boards or platters  of whole grain bread and hot corn bread, butter, slices of smoked ham, and  sharp cheddar cheese. Grainy mustard works too, and pickled beets would be a nice addition. Cornbread is easy to make so you really don’t need a mix. However, you can legitimately buy your whole grain bread (slice it yourself), butter, ham, and cheese. Try to buy “European-style” butter, like Kerry Gold or Plugra, salted or unsalted.

For dessert, I would offer hot apple pie, served with brandied cream.

RECIPE: Brandied Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 Tablespoons brandy   

Directions: Using a whisk, beat the cream until it is foamy and begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar and nutmeg and continue to beat another minute. Whisk in the brandy. Serve.