Recipes

Apr 23, 2014 6:30 PM by Jennifer English

New England Fish Chowder

I was bursting with nostalgia and pride earlier this week when the Boston Marathon was run triumphantly through the streets of my hometown on Patriots Day. As a native New Englander, I was moved by the powerful pride and resilience of the citizenry. I was reminded of the food which unites us as New Englanders. A cuisine which Imogene Wolcott, the first food editor of Yankee Magazine, celebrated as "the finest plain cooking in the world." This Fish Chowder is identified as one of the 20 most "typical" New England dishes. I could not agree more. Boston Strong.

This recipe is adapted from the 1976 book, "The Taste of Gloucester: A Fisherman's Wife Cooks"

5 thick bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, plus extra to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
3 medium-size 'Yukon Gold' potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup cream
1-3/4 cups milk
1-3/4-2 pounds white fish, such as hake or pollock, cut into 1-inch chunks

Garnishes: minced fresh chives, chopped bacon

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove all but 3 tablespoons fat from pot. Remove half the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the remaining bacon in pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until onion pieces are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Add flour and stir. Add water, whisking as you go; the flour will dissolve and the mixture will thicken a bit. Add potatoes and cream, increase heat to medium, cover pot, and simmer until potatoes are barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add milk. Add fish and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
Serve chowder sprinkled with chives and remaining bacon.

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