Chesapeake Chowder

  • Yield : 6 servings (8 cups)
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 15m
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  • 18 Chincoteague oysters, or Blue Point or Kumamoto
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium leek, diced, white part only
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh picked thyme leaves
  • 5 strips bacon, diced
  • 3 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 2 cups clam juice (bottled is fine)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ounces Virginia ham, finely diced
  • 2 cups fresh-shucked corn
  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 4 drops hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 pound rockfish or striped bass fillets, skinned and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 16 ounces jumbo lump crab meat (picked for shells)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper


Step 1

Shuck the oysters and strain the liquor through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve oysters and liquid separately.

Step 2

In a saute pan, add the butter and heat until bubbling. Add the leeks, onions, shallots, and thyme and cook until transparent. In a separate large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Lower the heat, add the flour and cook the "roux" for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the fish stock, clam juice, oyster liquor, white wine, potatoes, and Virginia ham. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked leek-onion mixture and reduce all by 1/4. Add the corn and cook for 4 minutes. Add the cream, sherry, and hot sauce and cook 4 more minutes, stirring so as not to scorch. Add the rockfish, crabmeat and oysters and cook a minute or two. Check salt and pepper, noting that the ham is very salty so the chowder won't need much.

Step 3

Serve in 6 warm soup terrines and garnish with the chopped chives. Serve with corn breadsticks or common crackers.

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