Who hates scrubbing dishes after dinner? I know that I certainly do. So, why not just eat them? LOL! Bread bowls, guys. Bread bowls!
I have always enjoyed eating new England Clam Chowder. It’s rich, creamy, and totally filling. Adding a bread bowl to the mix makes this delightful recipe even better. And you know what’s great about this chowder, too? If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they’re going to be even tastier the next day, when all the flavors have come together beautifully after a day in the fridge. This recipe will give you a wonderful New England fish chowder, but you get tips for 3 different versions in the instructions!
6 slices bacon, cut in 1″ pieces
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup grated carrots
4 cups red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1-1/3 cups oyster crackers finely crushed (2/3 cup when crushed); or, 17 saltine crackers, finely crushed
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 lb. mild, white fish fillets (cod, sole, haddock, etc.)
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
bread bowls, if desired
Brown bacon in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, drain on paper towel. Leave 1 Tbsp bacon grease in pot, add onions and garlic and saute until soft.
Add broth, water, carrots, potatoes, cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, thyme, and crumbled bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are soft.
Add fish fillets, press them down into hot liquid. Cook until fish is cooked throughout (7-10 min.), break fish into pieces. Add milk and heat through. Salt to taste. Serve in bowls or sour dough bread bowls. Reheats well. Be careful not to overcook so that potatoes and fish do not loose their texture.
Low fat version: Substitute turkey bacon, olive or canola oil instead of bacon grease (for sauteing the onions), skim or reduced fat evaporated milk.
Clam chowder version: Substitute two 10-oz. cans minced clams for the fish. Drain clams, reserve juice. Measure clam juice & reduce the chicken broth in the recipe by equal amount. Add clam juice along with water and chicken broth. Add clams with canned milk in last step. Heat through (don’t boil) and serve.
No-meat version: Omit bacon. Substitute 1-2 tablespoons melted butter for bacon grease when cooking onions & garlic. Use vegetable broth or water in place of chicken broth.
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Quick Tip: I like to sprinkle a bit of sharp cheddar cheese on top of individual servings for a nice kick of flavor.