Fish Chowder with Herbed Oyster Crackers

4 servings
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 carrot, chopped fine
  • 2 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons allpurpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 16 ounces bottled clam juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm white fish fillet such as halibut or cod, skin discarded and flesh cut into 1inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups packaged oyster crackers
  • To make the fish chowder:

  • In a heavy saucepan cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off fat and in pan cook onion, carrot, and celery in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.

  • Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add clam juice, water, and cream and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

  • While mixture is coming to a boil, peel potato and cut into 1/4inch dice. Add potato to mixture and simmer chowder, uncovered, 12 minutes. Stir in fish and simmer until just cooked through,

  • about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, bacon, and salt and pepper.

  • Serve chowder with herbed oyster crackers:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan melt butter with thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring. Add crackers and toss to coat with butter. On a baking sheet arrange crackers in one layer and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes, or until deep golden.

  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

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