Do you have a best recipe? You know, a ‘been in my family forever’ recipe. One that whenever friends or long-distance relatives come to visit, this recipe must be on the menu.
Well, my friends, this is THAT recipe for me. The famous Whitecavage fish chowder!
My father (who’s an excellent chef and taught me so much about cooking…and life) gave me this recipe when I went to visit my boyfriend’s parents (now husband) for the first time. I made this delicious salmon chowder for them and they have loved me ever since.
Now, before you scamper off, even if you don’t like fish, I promise you’ll love this recipe. Even if you’re not a soup person, I promise you’ll love this recipe. I’ve made this fish chowder for people who have said they were both not a fish or soup person and I have successfully converted them! That’s why I’m making the very bold claim that this is the best fish chowder recipe on the web.
My father and I have tinkered with this recipe for awhile now. My dad once used coconut milk and whipping cream to make it healthier but I didn’t think it tasted as good. So this isn’t my healthiest dinner but it certainly is my favorite. And you can take comfort in knowing that it has healthy elements like fish and veggies.
Without further ado, here is the best fish chowder recipe!
The Best Fish Chowder Recipe
1 pound fresh wild-caught salmon, seasoned, cooked, and broken into bite size pieces (remove skin after cooking and before putting in chowder)
2 cups (about 1 onion) white onion diced
1 cup (2-3 celery sticks) celery diced
4 carrots, peeled then chopped or julienne
¼ cup butter (unsalted)
4-5 medium potatoes (red or russet), peeled and diced in to small bite size pieces
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (2-3 sprigs)
1-2 teaspoons dried parsley
(opt) Salt and pepper
1) Heat the oven to 350F, place your salmon filet, skin down, in a glass (or oven safe) casserole dish or you can line the dish with foil to make clean up easier. Season fish with salt, pepper or other desired seasoning. Place fish in oven for 15-20 minutes. Fish should have a white substance on parts of it and should flake easily from skin when cooked.
2) While fish is cooking, place butter in a minimum 6 QT pot (ceramic is best, I personally have Xtrema and would highly recommend it). Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes on medium-low heat till onions start to turn translucent.
3) Add your chicken stock and potatoes. Then turn up the heat to high till it begins to boil. Turn to medium or medium-low (depending on your stove) to keep it simmering. Simmer soup covered for at least 20 minutes. Then add the cooked salmon chunks (skin removed). If you continue simmering the soup to meld the flavors (which I highly suggest doing for an hour), now would be the time to add the parsley and fresh thyme (pick leaves off twigs and sprinkle the leaves into the soup). You may also want to put in another cup of chicken stock to make sure all veggies and potatoes are covered.
Side Note: This is a great meal to cook ahead of time and then just do the final steps right before you’re ready to eat. For example, I often complete steps 1-3 before church and then just turn off the heat after it reaches boiling (remember ceramic retains heat so it will continue to cook for awhile) right before I leave for church. So by the time I’m back home I just have to finish the remaining steps which takes only 5 minutes. (And with my Xtrema pot, the soup is usually even still hot when I get home.)
4) If you haven’t already, add the thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. (Also, if you took my advice and made this ahead of time, before going further reheat the soup on medium-low. Once lightly simmering again, turn off the heat.) With the heat off, add in the milk, whipping cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Continuously stir till everything is melted and mixed.
I like to serve the chowder with warm French bread.
Aww nothing says fall like warm chowder. I hope you all enjoy this family recipe!