Rustic Seafood Chowder

Rustic Crab Chowder with Crab Claw & Chive Garnish

If you’re counting calories, this crab chowder probably isn’t for you. It’s rich, creamy, smokey, and full of Jonah crab. In other words, it’s delicious!

This recipe was inspired by an amazing local Chef, Alain Bosse. Alain is the Food Editor with Saltscapes Magazine, and is extremely active in the Maritime culinary industry, where he is affectionately known as “The Kilted Chef“.

Last Summer, a friend and I spent a day with him on his Farm. He taught us about the seafood industry, farming practices, and smoking meat. We learned knife skills, drank wine, and made a gigantic pot of Seafood Chowder. I don’t have Alain’s recipe, so I made one up including a couple of the signature ingredients from the chowder we made that day on the farm.

Two of the most important ingredients in this chowder are thickly sliced double smoked bacon, and creamy brie!

While I do use a variety of seafood in this dish, the majority is Jonah crab. If you haven’t used Jonah crab before, give it a shot! It’s sweet and flaky, making it perfect for chowder.  The recipe below makes enough to serve 6.

Rustic Crab Chowder Soup

Recipe for Crab Chowder: 

2 lbs of Jonah Crab
1/2 Pound of Clams
1/2 Pound of Mussels
1/2 Pound of Scallops
1/2 Pack Thick Sliced Double Smoked Bacon
6-7 Potatoes (Boiled and Roughly Cubed)
2 Cups of 2% Milk
1 Cup of Cream
3-4 Cups of Seafood Stock
1/4 Wheel of Brie (approximately 1/2 cup)
3-4 Shallots
1 Leek
3 Cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
2 Bay Leaves
Sea Salt
Fresh (Corsley Ground) Peppercorn
Cayenne Pepper (To Taste)
3 Teaspoons of Flour
Fresh Chives

Instructions for Seafood Chowder: 

1: Dice your bacon, and drop it into a pot over medium-high heat. Stir your bacon until it browns then remove it from the heat with a slotted spoon. Discard fat.

2: Dice your shallots, leek, and garlic. Pour a little olive oil in the pan, and then saute over medium heat. Once your leeks and shallots have picked up a little color, sprinkle in your flour and stir.

3: Add your diced potatoes to the pan, followed by your seafood stock. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add Cream, Milk, Brie, 1/2 of your cooked Double Smoked Bacon, and Bay Leaf to your chowder. Stir and cover until potatoes are cooked, or fork tender.

4: While your potatoes are cooking, bring a shallow pot of water to a boil. Drop in your clams and mussels. Steam until shells are open. Remove from the heat, and spoon the meat from the shells. Set aside. Boil and shell your Jonah crab.

5: Once your potatoes are cooked, add the meat from your crab, mussels, and clams. Add scallops. Stir. Taste, and add sea salt and fresh cracked peppercorn as required. Sprinkle in Cayenne pepper (to taste).

Serve, garnished with a Jonah crab claw, fresh chives, bacon, and coarsely ground peppercorn.

Enjoy!

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