Salmon Chowder

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My mother and father live down the street from me, just a few houses away. This is wonderfully convenient for yours truly, who often finds herself heading over to their house to raid their fridge. No, I’m not a teenager, but yes, I still do raid their fridge. (You would too, my parents have great leftovers!)

Thankfully for mom and dad, the arrangement goes both ways. They stopped by the other day when we had just finished up cooking this salmon chowder, and happily packed half of it to take home with them. The verdict the next day? Raves.

It’s rich, smoky, and comforting. It’s our left coast answer to New England’s clam chowder. Enjoy!

Salmon Chowder Recipe

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  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups cleaned, sliced leeks (see How to Clean Leeks)
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 3 cups cubed Yukon gold potatoes, 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 medium potatoes, 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1  to 1 1 /4 pounds of trimmed, skinned, salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup corn (optional, use when in season or frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp flour (use rice flour if cooking gluten-free)
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish

Method

1 Place bacon in a thick-bottomed 5 to 6 quart pot. Heat on medium to medium  high heat.

Cook until lightly browned and the fat mostly rendered out of the bacon, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat. (Do not put bacon fat in your sink drain, it will clog the pipes.)

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2 Add the celery and leeks to the bacon and cook on medium heat until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

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3 Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, bay leaves, and thyme to the pot. Increase heat to bring to a simmer. The lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.

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4 While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the salmon. Place salmon in a bowl, sprinkle with flour and black pepper. Toss to coat. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

Working in batches if necessary, lightly brown the salmon on one side, then turn over to brown on the other side. (The salmon doesn't have to be cooked through, just lightly browned.)

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5 When the potatoes are cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer the salmon to the pot with the potatoes, bacon, leeks, and stock. Stir in corn if using. Cook gently for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in the cream and lemon zest. Add salt to taste.

Garnish with chives to serve.

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Links:

Salmon or Steelhead Chowder by Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Smoking Hot: Salmon and a Smoky Chowder by Lynda of TasteFood

Salmon Chipotle Chowder with Orzo and Corn by Lydia of The Perfect Pantry

Asian Salmon Chowder by Mellissa of I Breath... I'm Hungry...

Salmon Chowder

Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • Kim Graves Malcolm

    What could be subbed for the heavy cream? Low fat diet here. Thanks Elise!

  • Averisera

    This recipe is great! It is easy to prepare and cooks without any fuss. Afterwards, we thought about it as one of those perfect meals for when friends come over and we are all hanging around in the kitchen with appetizers and wine anyway. We’ll make this and it will be fun… and tasty.

    We have some very good frozen wild caught salmon and wanted a recipe that wasn’t the usual grilled or poached method. Chowder did it. We have passed this on to our adults kids as a must make dish. We live on Cape Cod where chowder is a way of life. This one fits right in.

  • EdithThayer

    This salmon chowder is delicious! We had some skin on salmon fillets from our seafood buying club. I just quickly browned the salmon and was easily able to peel off the skin and add it to the chowder. Definitely a recipe to be saved and made again. Also a good way to use some of our CSA vegetables.

  • Edward

    Do you think this recipe would work with another fish, like cod?
    My wife doesn’t eat salmon but this looks too delicious to pass up.

  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    I live in the Pacific NW. Salmon is a special staple in our kitchens. Perusing this recipe, I can tell this is a champion recipe for this dish. Nice and rich, but not like pudding. A wonderful selection of ingredients in the right proportions to highlight the salmon, but not take over the headliner spot.

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