Last Updated on April 15, 2021
Seafood chowders are perfect any time of year, but this version is especially nice when the weather is fickle and going from windy and chilly to sunny and warm in the same hour.
This recipe calls for wild-caught salmon. The fish has a deep, rich flavor that shines through and makes this a particularly special every-day meal.
It’s simple to make and perfect as is, but you can always play around! Consider adding bacon, chorizo, or smoked paprika, maybe some fennel, corn, or lots of fresh spinach. The possibilities are endless, but try it as written first and see how the simplicity showcases the salmon.
One bowl may not be enough.
- 1 pound small potatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 1/2 cups fish stock clam stock or water
- 1 1/2 pounds ButcherBox Wild Caught Salmon skin discarded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Dill for garnish optional
- 1 large lemon scrubbed, zested and cut into wedges for serving
- Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes to par cook. Drain and set aside.
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine completely. This is your roux. Stir continuously for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flavor.
- When the roux has taken on a light blonde color—after about three minutes—slowly whisk in ¼ cup of milk at a time, letting it thicken as you go. It will start as a paste and become a creamy base as you add a little at a time, whisking as you go.
- When the milk is incorporated, slowly whisk in the cream and fish stock. Let this come to a simmer.
- Add the par-cooked potatoes, diced onion, and sliced celery to the chowder. Return to a gentle simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the salmon, and let it simmer for another 3-5 minutes, until just cooked through. Taste and add white pepper and salt as needed.
- Serve garnished with dill and lemon zest and offer lemon wedges on the side.
- The chowder can be made up to 3 days in advance, without the salmon. Add the salmon prior to serving. The cooked and cooled chowder can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Rachael Narins is a classically trained chef, recipe developer and the author of two cookbooks
focusing on cast-iron. Her work can be seen in the L.A. Times, Simply Recipes, AllRecipes.com
and many other outlets. A lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Rachael is an avid food photographer and can be found posting pictures on Instagram when she isn’t cooking or working in her garden.