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  • Writer's pictureKonky's Creative Kitchen

New England Style Seafood Chowder

What is considered a chowder vs. "New England" style chowder? It is sticking to the roots of how a proper New England style is made. What was originally called "Boston Chowder", this was made with salt pork, not bacon. There was no bacon in the original that came over from Canada and France. Chowder of any type was never meant to be thick. If your spoon sticks straight up in the bowl like what pea soup would do, then, you do not have a proper chowder.

To pull this off, mise en place is extremely important. We now have to be careful about our time/temperature management and control. Different seafood cooks at different time frames so we have to stage this chowder to help avoid overcooking the seafood that is already in the pot. This recipe will make 4-5 quarts. Take a moment to read the recipe first and you will see that this is in stages. The recipe is written in a way that the reader can halve the recipe on their own. Trust me, this recipe is gonna be incredible!

STAGE ONE: 1 1/2 Sticks of butter 2 TB Thyme, dried or fresh 2 TB Garlic, fresh minced 2 TB Kosher salt 1 TB White pepper 1 TB Black pepper **1/4 C flour

STAGE TWO: 1 lb Red potato, small diced 8oz Celery, finely diced 8oz Red onion, small diced 1 lb Haddock*, cleaned, small 1.5in cuts 1/4 lb each Squid, sliced tubes and tentacles 1/2 lb Dry Scallops, quartered

STAGE THREE: 1 lb Clams, cooked/chilled whole belly or strips, well rinsed 1 Lobster, cooked/chilled, meat harvested, intestinal tract removed 1 QT Light Cream or Half-and-Half - room temperature 1 1/2-2 QT Seafood or Clam stock - room temperature

This is how the vegetables should look like:

Make sure to keep your knife-cuts as close to consistent as possible.

1.) FROM STAGE ONE - In a large pot on medium to med-high heat, add the ingredients. Cook the garlic, thyme and seasonings for roughly three minutes, stirring. This will give just enough color to the garlic

2.) From STAGE TWO - add only your vegetables. We want to par-cook these vegetables at this stage so keep stirring around to ensure even-cooking. After about five to six minutes, the potatoes will start looking like they have some color to them. At this point, add your seafood from STAGE TWO. Continue to stir as this will ensure even cooking for approximately two-three minutes.

3.) FROM STAGE THREE - add the rest of your seafood first. We want to help the rest of the seafood come together with heat. Stir this mixture for approximately two to three minutes. The haddock will start to show some more solid white-coloring to it. This will cook fast so don’t walk away!

4.) FROM STAGE THREE - add your seafood stock/clam stock to the pot. Gently stir this for approximately five minutes as we want the stock to heat up. This will not ruin the seafood. After this time has passed, add your light cream. Let your pot come to a gentle boil. The heat will help slightly thicken** the chowder. This should take another five to six minutes. Remove from heat as the pot of chowder will stay hot for a while.

By working this in stages, we are avoiding overcooking the seafood and creating a beautiful chowder!

Once the light cream has developed a velvety but gentle texture, this is done!

Serve in crocks, bread boules or a large soup-mug. Serve this with oyster crackers or fresh bread and butter.

*Haddock can get expensive. Ask your local Seafood attendant if they sell fish trimmings. This is often sold as “Chowder Fish” at HUGE savings!

**If you are someone who likes a thick chowder, you can either create a slurry of some of the seafood stock (1/4 C) with equal measure of corn starch - or - you can add about 1/4 C of flour into your GROUP ONE stage to create a roux. Pay careful attention to your roux as you do not want to over-cook it. Typically Seafood Chowder is not made from a roux or slurry but some folks like certain things done a certain way - and that is ok! :)

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