It feels like it hasn’t stopped raining since the summer of 2018, and with the temperature dropping like a stone of late there is nothing quite as comforting as a large bowl of something hot with freshly baked crusty bread.
Lewis Carroll was right all along.
Begin at the beginning” the King said gravely “and go on till you come to the end then stop.
I recently came up with a recipe for a ridiculously easy to make smoked haddock chowder that goes down a bomb in #ParlezPantry and I promised Twitter that I would blog it. #MrsParlez and the girls adore the New Covent Garden Haddock Chowder but they prefer this method hands down every time; what’s not to like?
Here’s what you’ll need (adjust accordingly for size):
- 1kg (8 fillets) Smoked Haddock
- 600ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- 300g Streaky Bacon (cubed)
- 2 Celery Stalks (thinly sliced)
- 2 Leaks (sliced)
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3 Potatoes (cubed)
- 750ml Chicken Stock
- 2 Tbsp Crème Fraîche
- 1 Tsp Fish Sauce
- Flat Leaf Parsley
Lay half of the fillets in the pot, don’t overcrowd the pot, keep it at a single layer
Once the pan is warm lightly poach the fish for 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside to cool whilst retaining the milk to poach the second half of the fish.
Once the second batch of fish is poached add the potatoes and bay leaves to the milk as it cools.
After a light poach chunk the fish from the skin and set aside, it will break up later so larger chunks at this stage are ideal. Next up, find an 11 year old and get them to thinly slice the leaks and celery and set them aside.
Roughly chop 30g of flat leaf parsley and the 300g of bacon.
Add oil to the pan on a medium heat and let the fat render.
After a few minutes add the parsley and stir well.
Did I mention that this was ridiculously easy to make?
Add the potatoes and leaks, and raise the heat for 8 minutes before adding the poaching milk.
Lower the heat for another 8 minutes then add some optional additional parsley, or don’t.
Now add 750ml of chicken stock, apologies for the slightly blurred picture, trying to prevent spillage whilst holding a camera and trying to touch focus on the screen proved beyond the call of duty and add the fish sauce.
Stir well and leave off the heat.
Finally, you have a choice of a blender or stick blender, for soups etc. I always use the stick blender, as the chowder cools blend to your desired consistency and add the Crème Fraîche.
Don’t forget, I chose to add the extra 30g of flat leaf parsley as you can see above, it is entirely your choice to leave it out should you wish.
You can now add your flaked fish and stir for 3 minutes on a low heat or keep the fish covered and warm the chowder later on and then add the fish for the last few minutes of warming the pot. The large chunks of fish will easily break as you stir the pot.
You can add sweetcorn if you wish, but I don’t. Serve with freshly baked crusty bread.
nb: Stupidly I forgot to take a final picture once served but I’ll wager you’ll get on just fine with what could be the tastiest and easiest chowder going.