Classic Seafood Chowder; My take on an American Classic with Jersey Mussels, Smoked Haddock and Prawns

As with so many dishes, I think everyone has their favourite version of a chowder, like today’s recipe post, Jersey Mussel, Smoked Haddock and Prawn Chowder. Now I have been very, very fortunate to have eaten my fair share of chowders and my favourite is The New England Chowder, with clams and potatoes and finished with cream. The Manhattan Chowder is a rich tomato based soup or there is Bacon and Corn Chowder with biscuits. The addition of crushed salted biscuit ( a cheese cracker or water biscuit ) is a traditional chowder garnish and is a reference to many early chowders thickened with Ships Biscuits.

Creamy Mussel, Prawn and Smoked Fish Chowder
My version of the classic American soup.

As there is no single definitive recipe my chowder recipe is a purely personal and uses some of my favourite and best produce available to anyone cooking in Jersey alongside a couple of unorthodox ingredients. If you are not so fortunate as myself living with wonderful seafood almost washing up on my doorstep, quality natural smoked haddock, freshly cooked prawns and some plump tasty mussels from a reputable fishmonger will make an excellent chowder. I have used this recipe in several professional kitchens and can assure you it will be a success, customers phone up to see if it is being served. Many chefs have a signature dish that can be something elaborate or simple, an entree or dessert, a multiple ingredient masterpiece or startlingly simple supper, I am beginning to think that this chowder recipe is perhaps mine. That is no bad thing. Enjoy.

More An Island Chef Mussel Recipes
Paella de marisco
Mussels with Beer and Chorizo
Seafood Tom yam Soup
Classic Moules Marinières

Jersey Mussel, Smoked Haddock, and Prawn Chowder serves 4 to 6

1 White Onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 large Carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 Leeks, washed and finely diced

2 sticks of Celery, washed and finely diced

2 heads of Fennel, finely diced

1 clove of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 pints of quality Fish stock

500 g firm waxy Potatoes, washed, peeled and diced

2 large pieces of natural smoked Haddock, skinned

100 gr / 1 small tin of cooked Sweetcorn Nibs

A good pinch of freshly ground white Pepper

Bouquet garni; Celery stick, Bay leaf, Parsley, Thyme and Tarragon

1 Lemon

50 gr unsalted Butter

50 gr Plain Flour

50 ml Vermouth

250 ml Jersey pouring Cream

To finish

125 gr cooked peeled cocktail Prawns

500 – 750 gr scrubbed Mussels

Salted Crackers and freshly chopped Parsley

Place all of the vegetables excluding the potatoes into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté in the butter, without colouring until soft, add garlic and flour and cook for a further two minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate pan heat the fish stock. Slowly pour into the vegetables, stirring continuously, and bring to the boil. Prepare the haddock by removing the skin and any bones and cutting into a large dice. Add diced smoked haddock, ground pepper, bouquet garni tied with string and chunky diced potatoes to pan and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are soft. Stir regularly to prevent the chowder from sticking to the pan. Finish with cream and juice of one lemon. Remove bouquet garni. Correct seasoning ( the soup is likely to be sufficiently salted because of the smoked haddock ). In a little water steam the mussels for two to three minutes until open, remove and cool. Strain out the cooking liquor and add to chowder. You can shell the mussels in you prefer them that way.

To serve reheat with cocktail prawns and mussels, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes to totally reheat the seafood, stirring to prevent the chowder from sticking to the pan. Ladle carefully into a bowl and top with broken salted crackers and chopped parsley.

Wine

What to Drink? Creamy Chowders with Sweetcorn need something to lift the palate and pairs well with dry, German-style Riesling wines or hoppy Continental-style Pilsner lagers and IPA beers.

 

Allergens in this recipe are;

Celery  Flour  Raw Fish Milk Oyster Crab

Please see the Allergens Page

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