Dear SOS: When I was in Ketchikan, Alaska, last year, I ate at Annabelle's Keg and Chowder House and had the best seafood chowder. I would love to have the recipe.
Dear Ellen: Annabelle's was happy to share its recipe for this rich, thick, New England-style chowder, which we've adapted below. It's the perfect comfort food for a cold winter's evening.
Total time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 8 to 16
Note: Adapted from Annabelle's Keg and Chowder House in Ketchikan, Alaska
1 pound boiling potatoes
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
2 cups diced celery, cut into 1/2 -inch dice (1/2 pound)
1 1/2 cups diced onion, cut into 1/2 -inch dice (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups seafood broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart half-and-half
1/4 cup finely diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green onions
2 to 3 pounds chopped fresh seafood, such as a combination of scallops, halibut and salmon
1. Cook the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a simmer, and gently cook until the potatoes are tender, but not too soft, about 20 minutes depending on the size (a knife should pierce the potato fairly easily). Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut the potatoes into one-half-inch cubes. Set aside.
2. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, sauté the bacon over medium-high heat until it renders its fat and becomes crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the bacon, leaving the fat in the pan.
3. To the pot, add the celery and onion and cook in the fat until the onion is translucent and the celery is softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a blond roux. Stir in the garlic, sage, parsley and thyme. While stirring, slowly pour in the seafood broth. Stir in the potatoes and bacon. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper.
4. Decrease the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes to develop the flavors. After 20 minutes, stir in the half-and-half, tomatoes, green onions and seafood. Simmer gently until the seafood is cooked through. Taste again and adjust seasoning as desired. Remove from heat and serve immediately. This makes about 4 quarts chowder.
Each of 16 servings: 311 calories; 19 grams protein; 17 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 19 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 68 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 321 mg sodium.
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