Serves 6

In restaurants, fish chowder is either superb or dreadful, mostly because some cooks have such a heavy hand with the flour and other thickeners, and the broth tastes pasty. At home, however, where you’re making a manageable-sized pot, the broth should have just the right body and creaminess. Here you get a little smokiness from bacon.

4slices bacon, cut into small strips
1onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon flour
3cups bottled clam broth
2cups water
3large Yukon Gold or other golden potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1cup heavy cream
2pounds skinless, boneless white fish (cod, haddock, pollock, or cusk), cut into 1-inch pieces

1. In a soup pot over low heat, render the bacon until it is golden brown. With a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.

2. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.


3. Slowly add the broth, stirring constantly, then the water. Bring to a boil, stirring, Add the potatoes and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to medium-low, set the cover on askew, and simmer the potatoes for 10 minutes or until they are tender.

4. Add the cream and return the bacon to the pan. Heat the mixture until it is bubbling at the edges. Add the fish and press it into the liquid so it is submerged. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Serve with cornbread.  Sheryl Julian