45 min – 1 hr
Westcoast Chowder with Cheese Scones
- 1 tin (142g) baby clams, including the juice they are packed in
- ½ lb salmon filet
- ½ lb cod filet, pin bones tweezed out
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into bits
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped (1/2” cubes)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp salt
- 15 cracks fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 cup cream (or milk)
- Prepare your fresh cheese scones while the chowder simmers. The recipe is right here!
- Pressed for time or just not into it? Purchase 4 cheese scones (or your favorite savory scones)
Step by Step Instructions
Place the bacon in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat and crispify the bacon. You want the bacon fairly crisp for this application – nobody likes chunks of soft, wimpy bacon in their chowder… When the bacon is about ½ as crisp as you like, increase the heat to medium high, add the onions and sauté until the bacon is crisp (but not burnt) and the onions are beginning to brown on the edges. This process will take a good 10 minutes.
When the bacon and onions are done remove the pot from the heat and set it on an angle (place a spoon under one side) and push the bacon and onions to the high side of the pan to allow the excess fat to drain away. Use a spoon to remove most of the rendered bacon fat, but do leave a little behind as it brings great flavor to the chowder.
Once the excess fat has been removed add the potatoes and celery to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes, then increase the heat to high and add the carrots and the clams, along with the juice that the clams are packed in. Use the tin from the clams and add 2 tins full of water to the pot. Cover the pot and boil for 10 minutes, lower the heat to medium then add the 2 filet of fish (whole – they will break up as the chowder simmer and we will fish the salmon skin out later) to the pot and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes (as the cod simmers any pin bones that you missed with likely pop up and you can easily pull them out at this time).
Once the chowder has simmered for 20 minutes add the cream and lower the heat. It is important to keep the chowder under a boil once the cream has been added to avoid separation. Add the fennel seeds and stir gently to break up the fish filets. Give the chowder a taste and correct the seasoning if required.
Let the chowder simmer for as long as you like – the longer the better as the flavors have more time to mingle and get acquainted. That said, once it has been simmering for at least 30 minutes in total, it’s good to serve – so 10 minutes after you add the cream is just fine!
When you are ready serve the chowder into soup plates along with a plate of warm cheese scones. I know you will love this family recipe that we have been perfecting and serving up for dinner for generations!