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Fish Chowder New England Style

Introduction & method

You've probably heard of clam chowder, but fish is also a popular choice for this thick and tasty soup. This is a New England style of chowder because it's cream/milk based. Manhattan-style chowder is tomato-based. It's very easy to make and a great winter warmer.

Fish Chowder New England Style Recipe

Prep the Veggies and Fish

Peel the potatoes and cut into1cm (half an inch) cubes. Peel and finely dice the onion, finely dice the celery. Finely chop the parsley. Check the fish for bones and remove any that you find. If your fish has skin on, keep it on for now. Chop the bacon or pork into small pieces. By the way, salt pork is more authentic than bacon for this dish but I've never seen it in the UK.

Cook the Chowder

Add the bacon or pork to a large pot, turn the heat on medium-low and gently cook it. You want the fat to render down but you don't want to burn the bacon. After about 5 minutes add the butter, get that melted, then add the onion and celery, the thyme and the bay leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Now sift in the flour, a bit at a time and stir it to get it all mixed in. Add the fish stock and stir well. Add the potatoes and most of the chopped parsley, but save a bit for garnish. Bring the pot to the boil then turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the fish - if it has skin on, cook it for a few minutes until the flesh is beginning to flake. Fish it out of the pot and remove the skin. Put the flakes back in the pot. Depending on the size of your fish you might need to do this in batches, in which case you don't put the flakes back in until you've deskinned all the fish. If your fish is skinless, put the whole fish in and break it up into flakes once it's cooked a bit. Add the milk, cream and pepper and cook gently for about 5 more minutes. Taste it and add more pepper if you like. You might need to add salt, but it's unlikely because your bacon or pork will have made it a bit salty.

To Serve

Pour the chowder into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread. Or if you want to be a bit fancy and restauranty, hollow out a round loaf and serve the chowder in that. 

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Fish Chowder New England Style on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 450 grams haddock, cod or other white fish
 500 ml fish stock
 250 ml double (heavy) cream
 250 ml milk
 100 grams unsmoked fatty bacon or salt pork
 450 grams potatoes
 1 medium onion
 small handful flatleaf parsley
 2 sticks celery
 1 tsp dried thyme
 2 bay leaves
 30 grams butter
 1-2 tsp plain flour
 half a tsp white pepper

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 25 minutes.
Total time: 35 minutes.