This is a favorite for lunch or dinner at any time of year! The recipe is quite adaptable so you can take advantage of whatever type of fish or seafood looks great at the market. Try not to skip adding the Pernod; it’ll be your secret ingredient that makes it quite special.
Serve this chowder with a tossed green salad and a fresh-baked batch of corn muffins and you have the makings for a casual party menu that is sure to please.
NOTE: This is a thin and creamy chowder. If you prefer, a thickener may be added. Combine 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Mix well, then stir into the chowder in step 3. Add enough to reach the desired consistency.
6 – 8 servings; 2 quarts
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 small onion, peeled, small dice
1 carrot, peeled, diced
1 fennel bulb, fronds and core removed, small dice
1 rib celery, cleaned, diced
1 oz salt pork or bacon (no nitrates, less processed), small dice
2 cups red new potatoes, diced
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
4 cups half & half (or refrigerated oat milk)
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. seafood – cod, haddock, salmon, shrimp, clams, scallops – your choice
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup Pernod
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, if needed
Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or chives, oyster crackers
- In a stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, fennel, celery and salt pork (or bacon). Sauté until vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, corn, and Herbes de Provence, and sauté for 2 minutes more.
- Carefully add the half & half (or oat milk), seafood and bay leaves; stir and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the Pernod and black pepper. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Taste, and add salt if needed. Remove bay leaves and discard.
- Serve chowder garnished with fresh, chopped parsley, chives and/or oyster crackers.
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Main photo: istock/martinturzak