Meet my dad. Growing up, he was the one most likely to be found cooking in the kitchen. He recently came to visit us here in Charlotte to meet our newest arrival and my older daughter specifically requested that he make us his world famous fish chowder.
As a rule, I generally don’t eat seafood in Charlotte since I grew up about a mile from the ocean in Massachusetts, but I was willing to make an exception to test out a new fish market that opened up nearby. The new Charlotte fish market is called Clean Catch and it specializes in responsibly fished and caught seafood. When we trekked in with all four kiddos in tow, the owner and his staff were excited to tell us about the fish they had gotten in that day and what would probably be arriving for the weekend. We chose the cod from Massachusetts to make Papa’s Famous Fish Chowda. I was very impressed by Clean Catch – I definitely plan to add in more fish to my Charlotte cooking rotation. Check them out!
1 1/2 to 2 pounds cod, no skin, cut into about 1 inch cubes
10 slices of bacon
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup of corn – canned or frozen
32 ounces chicken broth
2 to 3 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch) mixed with 3 tablespoons water
2 bay leaves
1 pint half and half (or heavy cream)
salt and pepper to taste
1.) Fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, crumble and set aside to garnish the finished chowder.
2.) Add onion to the bacon grease and cook for about 2 minutes.
3.) Add potatoes and cook for about 7 minutes.
4.) Add chicken broth – make sure there is enough broth to cover the potatoes. Cook until potatoes are almost done – about 15 to 20 minutes.
5.) Add corn. Add flour/cornstarch mixture to thicken. Add 2 bay leaves. Add fish. Cook for about 10 minutes.
6.) Add a pint of half and half. Warm the chowder but DO NOT let it come to a boil.
7.) Turn off the burner and let it sit until you can’t stand it anymore and you just have to eat it. Garnish with crumbled bacon and oyster crackers – or Papa’s personal favorite topping – crushed Ritz crackers. Enjoy!