Eating Healthy Blog

Classic Down East Haddock Chowder

Classic Down East Haddock Chowder

The virtue of Maine-style fish chowder is its simplicity. It’s a milky, brothy chowder, unembellished with wine or heavy cream, tasting mostly of the good, fresh, locally caught haddock from which it is made. This recipe is classic, with the main concession to modernity being the addition of fresh thyme, which you can omit or reduce if you so prefer. The secret to chowder’s depth of flavor lies in the aging process during which all the chowder’s elements have a chance to meld and blend, resulting in a most successful and happy marriage.

Classic Down East Haddock Chowder
Brooke Dojny, Dishing Up Maine

1 large onion, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced (optional)
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup water, plus more, if necessary
3 cups diced russet or all-purpose potatoes such as Yukon gold (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoons dried
2 Tbls fresh chopped parsley
2 pounds haddock or other similar mild white fish, such as cod or pollock, cut into 2-3 inch chunks
2 Tablespoons butter


Saute onion and celery in 2 tbls butter in a large soup pot over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes. Add the clam juice, water, potatoes, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the half-and-half and thyme. Add the fish, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until the fish is opaque, about 5 minutes. Cool uncovered, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

 7 Principles for Choosing Seafood

  • Who Fishes Matters
  • Buy from local fishermen whenever possible
  • Choose seafood that has traveled the least distance
  • Choose wild seafood whenever possible
  • Avoid farmed finfish and shrimp
  • Avoid fake or imitation seafood products
  • Get involved in a Community Supported Fishery (CSF)
  • Ask how, where and when your seafood was caught

The above information is from the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.

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