26 February, 2020
Fish ChowderPosted in : Mains on by : Christine
Perfect on a cold winter night served hot or in the summer at room temp. This chowder is not the thick, flour based clam type chowder you are probably used to. It is a more silky style that draws you in with rich flavor that showcases the succulent chunks of fish.
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- 4 oz salt pork or thick-cut bacon, diced
- 2 med onion, diced
- 1-2 stalks celery, diced (opt)
- 1T unsalted butter
- 1 1/4# - 2# Yukon gold potatoes, diced small
- 2 bay leaves
- 6-8 sprigs thyme
- 5c fish stock or 4c chicken stock and 1 bottle of clam juice
- 1 1/2c - 2c heavy cream - (Not 1/2 & 1/2)
- 2# - 3# cod or haddock, boneless and skinless
- salt & white pepper to taste
- Heat a heavy 6 quart stock pot over low heat and add the salt pork/bacon to render the fat out slowly. Once done increase the heat and crisp the pork to a golden brown, not too dark. Remove the meat to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Reserve 2T of the rendered fat in the pot, save the rest for another recipe, and increase the heat to med-low. Add the butter, onions and celery if using, saute until golden and soft but not browned approx 8 min.
- Add the potatoes, stock, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. If the stock does not fully cover the potatoes add enough water or stock to just cover them. Cover and bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes. The potatoes should be soft but not mushy.
- If the stock has not thickened enough, mash a few potatoes and continue simmering for a couple more minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and season for S&P - don't be shy here as there is still a lot of fish and cream to be added!
- Take the cream out of the fridge and set on the counter to come to room temp.
- Add the fish fillets and cook covered over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit for 10 minutes (the fish will continue to cook but won't over cook).
- Gently stir in room temp cream, start with 1 1/2 cups and add more to taste. Taste for seasoning.
- Chowder is best if you let it sit for 30 min up to an hour and let the flavors meld. Warm chowder over low heat, remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Break up the fish into large chunks when plating.
- Garnish with the pork cracklings and serve with crusty bread.
- If not serving right away, let the chowder cool for 30 min to an hour before placing in the fridge (do not put hot chowder in the fridge!) Let sit out for 30 minutes before reheating gently - do not let boil!
- It is important not to let the chowder come to a roiling boil once the cream has been added. Even before a gentle simmer is really all it needs.
- You can use black pepper but white pepper blends in better and has a more delicate taste.
- Cod and haddock are the best fish for this but any thick, firm white fish can be used.
- If using a stick blender to mash some of the potatoes I highly recommend doing this out of the pot so you don't mash too many.
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