Ultimate Seafood Chowder
At Whidbey Seafoods, we believe in the beauty of versatility when it comes to a classic chowder recipe. Our Salmon Chowder is not just a dish; it's a canvas for culinary creativity. Customization is key, whether you prefer the smokiness of bacon, the richness of crab meat, or the subtlety of smoked salmon. And when it comes to thickness and texture, you have the reins. So, dive in and explore the many variations of this chowder. The possibilities are as endless as the sea itself. Enjoy the journey!
- Strips of bacon, cut into small pieces (about 6-8 strips)
- WISC Salmon, air-fried and flaked (approximately 1 lb)
- Spot prawns or shrimp, blanched and peeled (about 1/2 lb)
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped small
- Celery, chopped small (2-3 stalks)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup seafood stock
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 2 cups half and half
- 3 Russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 medium-sized potatoes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Optional: Extra bacon bits for garnish
- Optional: Sliced jalapeno for a spicy kick
- Optional: Chopped parsley for garnish
- Optional: Oyster crackers for serving
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until they become crispy (about 6-8 minutes). Remove most of the bacon bits, leaving a few for garnish if desired. Drain the excess bacon grease, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons in the pot.
Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic to the pot. Sauté the vegetables in the bacon grease until they become tender and the onion turns translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
Pour in the chicken broth, seafood stock, and clam juice. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
Add the diced potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper, and continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are tender (NOT completely cooked), add the flaked air-fried salmon and blanched spot prawns to the pot. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, allowing the seafood to heat through.
Stir in the half and half, heavy cream and adjust any of the seasonings to taste.
If you prefer a spicier chowder, you can add sliced jalapeno at this stage.
Continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve the chowder hot in bowls. Garnish each bowl with optional bacon bits, chopped parsley, and oyster crackers for added texture and flavor.
Note: If you prefer a lighter chowder or need to adjust the thickness:
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water. Stir well until the cornstarch is completely dissolved, creating a smooth slurry.
Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into your chowder while stirring continuously. This will prevent lumps from forming.
Allow the chowder to simmer for a few more minutes to ensure it thickens to your desired consistency. If it's still not as thick as you'd like, you can repeat the process with a bit more cornstarch slurry. Be cautious, as a little goes a long way.
Notes & Variations:
- For a smokier twist, you can substitute smoked salmon for bacon.
- To adjust the density:
- Increase the amount of chicken broth or seafood stock for a lighter chowder.
- Add more half and half for a creamier texture.
- Reduce the number of potatoes for a less starchy chowder.
- Adjust the heavy cream quantity or omit it for a lighter consistency.
- Enhance the seafood goodness by adding crab meat to the chowder. Simply fold in around 1/2 pound of cooked crab meat when incorporating the salmon and prawns for an even more indulgent and flavorful experience.
- While store-bought stock can do the job, we highly recommend using homemade stocks for the fullest flavor experience. It's the secret ingredient that transforms this chowder from good to great. If you have the time, make your own stock following our recipe. The effort is worth it!