I was born and bred in New York, but my roots are in New England, so you might say that chowder is in my blood. My family has always made New England-style chowder by starting with whole cod or haddock on the bone, because the bones are the key to big, big flavor. On a weeknight in the twenty-first century, however, I know most of us just don’t have the time. So here’s a simpler version. (OK, this recipe requires an hour and a quarter from start to finish, but only 15 minutes of that is actual hands-on time.) And because all the ingredients are tightly sealed in one casserole, you can’t boil off the flavor. It’ll all be there to smack you in the face the instant you sit down to your bowl.
Makes 4 servings
1 cup canned chicken broth or homemade Chicken Stock
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray a shallow 2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Bring the broth and wine to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Layer the potatoes, onion, celery, and bacon in the baking dish, seasoning with thyme, salt, and pepper between the layers. Pour the hot broth mixture over all, dot with butter, add the bay leaf, and cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the bay leaf from the potato mixture; add the fish, and bake, covered, until the fish is just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, gently heat the half-and-half.
To serve, drizzle the hot half-and-half over the fish. Spoon the chowder into bowls, breaking the fish into flakes with the spoon; sprinkle each serving with some paprika, if desired.
Bonnie C. Says:
June 12th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
When you say “thinly sliced”, do you mean thinly sliced by hand (like 1/4″), or mandoline thinly sliced (paper thin)?
Sara Moulton Says:
June 13th, 2012 at 9:28 pm
I mean just by hand. I would say, slice very thin on a mandoline if that is what I meant. I rarely would say that anyway since most home cooks don’t have a mandoline. I use one occasionally but still find it kind of scary.
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