Friday, October 17, 2014

Cod Chowder Redux

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.

Cod Chowder 

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.



  1. how well i remember those fishy tasting bone filled fish mother cooked. i always told every one i did not ea fish until i moved here and had big white chunks of grouper or red fish, zero bones.

  2. When I was in New England, I had the best Clam Chowder I have EVER had... (Haven't had any that good since.) BUT--don't think I've ever had Cod Chowder... Your recipe looks great.

    I did one of those silly tests on FB this morning finding out which is my favorite STATE to live in... Mine came out as VERMONT.... I could do that... Then maybe I could find some more of that Clam Chowder --and also some Cod Chowder...


  3. I didn't eat much fish growing up. Love the idea of substituting cod for the clams. I'm always in the mood for chowder. Have a lovely weekend Bonnie.

  4. It sounds really good . . .
    Although I have never had clams or chowder so it will be a, "I will think about it, " for me, if I am being honest.
    (some of us are strange, I have never eaten macaroni and cheese either.)
    When I was growing up we had meat, potatoes and a vegetable, that was it!
    The weather sure has me thinking soups though.
    So much so that I have a Hearty Beef Stew cooking that a blogging friend had posted a few days ago.
    Rainy and dreary with cooler temps brings out the soup recipes for me too.

  5. We had fish sticks:)
    And a fish with so many tiny bones..I thought I would choke:)
    I am so glad to have expanded my fish horizons..
    Comfort soup:)
    Looks good!

  6. Chowder sounds nice and hearty for cold damp weather! Bet the bacon takes it over the top:@)

  7. It looks wonderful! With all that iccky prep back then, it's a wonder you ate it!

  8. ah, fish on a friday was such a big deal here too, although we lived very near the coast!... this chowder looks divine. love the dded bacon too!

  9. We always had fish on Friday....we were a Catholic family and back then, it was mandatory. Because we lived on fresh water river, we had lots of fish...mostly perch as I remember. Not so great in chowder. I do love clam chowder though, fun to make this with cod and corn.

  10. Sounds perfect and comforting for this chilly autumn weather ~ Catherine


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