The fishermen of Bodega Bay, California shared this favorite, quick and easy recipe with my sister during a Fish Festival. It is one of the best chowders I've had, and my kids love it too! We top with bacon bits and a few shakes of hot sauce for a little spice. Enjoy!

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Saute onions, mushrooms and celery in butter until tender.

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  • Add chicken stock and potatoes; simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Add fish, and simmer another 10 minutes.

  • Mix together clam juice and flour until smooth; stir into soup and simmer for 1 minute more. Season to taste with Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat, and stir in evaporated milk. Top each bowl with crumbled bacon, if desired.

Cook's Note:

Use your favorite seafood seasoning. I use Chef Paul Prudhomme's brand.

Nutrition Facts

386 calories; protein 31.9g 64% DV; carbohydrates 33.8g 11% DV; fat 13.6g 21% DV; cholesterol 83.5mg 28% DV; sodium 748mg 30% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (495)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2006
“What’s Old Bay?” you ask. Try this: celery seed, black pepper, bay leaf, cardamom, mustard seed, cloves, paprika, and mace. Didn’t have cod, so I added shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking. (Don’t overcook shrimp, otherwise they get rubbery).Also didn’t have clam juice, so I used extra chicken stock. Instead of evaporated milk, I used 2%. As others mentioned, I added corn, extra mushrooms, and crumbled bacon on top. Mmm...Mmm...Good! Read More
(250)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/14/2003
Wow... after all the rave reviews I thought this chowder was boring and bland. What was everyone raving about? I doctored it up with some worcestershire sauce a shot of sherry a little thyme marjoram a bay leaf and a lot more Old Bay and then it was pretty good. Read More
(22)
644 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 460
  • 4 star values: 142
  • 3 star values: 30
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 5 stars
02/17/2006
“What’s Old Bay?” you ask. Try this: celery seed, black pepper, bay leaf, cardamom, mustard seed, cloves, paprika, and mace. Didn’t have cod, so I added shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking. (Don’t overcook shrimp, otherwise they get rubbery).Also didn’t have clam juice, so I used extra chicken stock. Instead of evaporated milk, I used 2%. As others mentioned, I added corn, extra mushrooms, and crumbled bacon on top. Mmm...Mmm...Good! Read More
(250)
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2005
This chowder is AMAZING! I accidently overcooked the potatos, so I would be sure to follow cook time to a "T". Still turned out great. The only thing I changed was mincing the celery and mushrooms, and I only added one can of evaporated milk. Great combo with the fish especially for those who don't like chewing on rubbery clams. I am from the Pacific Northwest and we have a lot of famous chowder houses up here. A trick I learned when searving chowder is to put a bit of butter and a sprinkle of pepper on top. (Thought I would pass it on) This chowder is already very rich and creamy so I am eating it just the way it is. I saw a lot of comments stating this is a bland chowder and I did not find it so. I put in a lot of pepper cause that is the way I like chowder, so maybe give that a try. We had garlic sticks with ours and it made a great meal! Read More
(173)
Rating: 5 stars
05/02/2003
This really was easy and extremely adaptable. I used catfish, but any white fish would work well - even a mixture of fish. I increased the Old Bay Seasoning to 1 tsp +, and added the entire bottle of clam juice. I also added 1 Tbls more than called for of flour, to make it a little thicker. Next time I'll add the crumbled bacon into the soup, rather than use as a topping. Top with parsley. KEEPER! Read More
(114)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2003
This was soooo good! My husband's first response was, "Darn, that's good! Why haven't you made this before??" I did make a few changes though... but I think the recipe as written would be just as yummy. I used 1lb red snapper, 1lb cooked baby shrimp and some chopped clams. I had lots of clam juice, so I used 4 cups clam juice to 1 cup chicken broth. I also used half and half rather than evaporated milk and found that 16oz was enough. Used Lawry's great garlic salt with parsley and lots more Old Bay's to taste. I can't recommend this recipe either way highly enough.. we will have it again and again and again! Read More
(79)
Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2003
Fabulous! Read More
(50)
Rating: 5 stars
01/18/2003
I added 6 strips of bacon and used a whole lot more Old Bay Seasoning plus a few clams. It was terrific. Read More
(49)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/11/2007
THIS CHOWDER IS SPECTACULAR!! I made a few changes based on previous reviews and preference. I used an 8 oz container of sliced mushrooms. It looks like a lot but they reduce in size after cooking. I used 1 lb of cod 1/2 lb of bay scallops 1 lb of shrimp and 2 cans of minced clams. Instead of buying a separate bottle of clam juice I saved the juice from the canned clams and mixed it with the flour. Two cans will give you one cup of juice. The variety of seafood added great flavor! I also used a full tablespoon of the Old Bay seasoning which I thought was perfect! I also took other reviewers suggestions and used one can of creamed corn and used 1 cup of half & half in place of the evaporated milk. My family absolutely loved it! Thanks for a great recipe. Read More
(39)
Rating: 5 stars
01/05/2004
I made this recipe with catfish and it turned out wonderful, I only used one can of the milk, and about 1/2 cup extra chicken stock. I also included bacon, and cooked the onions and celery in the drippings. I think adding scallops would have really made the recipe better, I will add them next time, Thanks for a great winter recipe! Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2003
Outstanding recipe. Instead of the cod, I had leftover grilled striped bass that I used, which made it a bit faster and also gave a hint of smokiness. I also put in some finely sliced scallions - added the white part before I took it off the heat and added the green part with the evaporated milk. Really great for a quick summer dinner. Would definitely make again. Read More
(30)
Rating: 3 stars
09/14/2003
Wow... after all the rave reviews I thought this chowder was boring and bland. What was everyone raving about? I doctored it up with some worcestershire sauce a shot of sherry a little thyme marjoram a bay leaf and a lot more Old Bay and then it was pretty good. Read More
(22)
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