I grew up inland at a time when fresh fish were available on Fridays only. Mother planned her farmers' market trips on that day. Her last stop would be at the butcher shop which doubled as a fish monger. I don't remember what kind of fish she purchased but they had tiny, annoying bones. They also had to be scaled. This she did on pieces of newspaper on the kitchen table. While the fish was tasty, my sisters and I weren't too enthusiastic about avoiding those bones. The only cod available was salt cod that came in compact squares and had to be soaked. I grew up thinking that's how cod was supposed to be. It wasn't until I started traveling to New England a few year's back that I encountered fresh cod. A steaming bowl of fresh cod chowder was so delicious that it became a mission to find some unsalted cod here in the midwest. Surprisingly, it seemed to be readily available frozen--off my radar though. Following a recipe for clam chowder, I substituted the cod. The bowl received a big thumbs up!
We have had a chilly and drizzly week around here. Not much sunshine to be found. So it was time to make another bowlful. This is just a tasty reminder as I've shared this recipe with you before.
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery diced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 pound potatoes, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1 (8-10 ounce) bottle clam broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound frozen cod, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup half-and-half
1. Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crispy and brown, stirring most of the time. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel and reserve. Leave the drippings in the pot.
2. Add the onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes, chicken broth and clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cod and corn. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove the pot from the heat and cover allowing the cod to finish cooking.
5. Return the chowder to low heat and stir in the half-and-half until just heated.
6. Sprinkle the reserved bacon over and serve.