California Aquaculture Association

Recipe: Thick and creamy fish chowder

Serves 6

1 whole sea bass or other white fish (4 to 5 pounds), scaled and cut into 3 pieces, including the head
7 cups water
3 all-purpose potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 slices bacon, cut into1-inch pieces
1 onion, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup light cream
1 cup milk
Sweet paprika (for sprinkling)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. In a stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the fish and water. Bring to boil and skim the surface thoroughly. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

2. Set a colander over a large bowl. Line the colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Carefully pour the soup and fish through the colander into the bowl. Return the soup to the pot.

3. When the fish is cool enough to handle but still warm, remove and discard the bones and skin, keeping large chunks of the flesh intact. Place the fish in a large bowl.

4. Add the potatoes to the cooking liquid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until they are tender. Return the fish to the pot and stir gently to distribute it.

5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, render the bacon, stirring often, until golden. With a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve the fat in the pan.

6. Add the onion, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the flour begins to brown.

7. In a heatproof measuring pitcher, combine the cream and milk and heat in the microwave for 1 minute or until just warm. Pour the cream into the onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.

8. Add the onion mixture and bacon to the fish mixture and stir gently. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until the soup is hot. Do not let it come to a boil or it will curdle. Add more milk or cream if the soup seems thick. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with paprika and chives.

Courtesy of | Adapted from Ricki Way and Jimmy’s Harborside restaurant


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