Thanksgiving chowder

That being the case, my dear husband was horrified at my suggestion that we add corn to lobster chowder. I believe he called it an abomination. Strong words, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. And with shedders aplenty at $3.99/pound, we can officially call this a pennywise recipe. (In fact, my dad wrote from home to inform me that lobsters in my adopted state are less than bologna.)

Feel free to substitute your favorite local seafood for the lobster. If you’re in Maine, buy some bugs! But wherever you are, have a happy Thanksgiving.

We partook in a lobster supper for 12 right before we made this, so we had leftover steamed lobster on hand. However you like to cook your lobster, do that first.


3 1-1/4-lb soft-shelled lobsters, steamed

1 lb creamer/fingerling potatoes, in 3/4-inch pieces

1 cup frozen or canned whole kernel corn

1 medium (golf ball sized) shallot, finely chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

6 cups water, approximately

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup light cream

2 teaspoons dry thyme

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Crack lobsters and remove tail, claw, and knuckle meat and set aside, reserving shells. Chop tail and knuckle meat into bite-sized pieces. Keep claws intact.

Make the stock

Remove legs and roughly chop into two to three pieces. Remove carapace (top shell) from bodies and discard. (Keep the tomalley and/or roe to spread on toast, if that’s your thing.)

Rinse lower body thoroughly, and roughly chop to open up meat cavities. Put all shells/legs/bodies into a small soup pot or dutch oven. Add enough water to cover.

Add wine and boil hard until stock has reduced by one third to 4 cups, about 20 minutes. Strain through fine strainer and discard shells.

Alternately, use 4 cups lobster stock, fish stock, or 1:1 clam juice and water. But this way is better, cheaper and pretty simple.

Make the chowder

In the same stock pot, sauté shallot in butter until just soft and reduce to medium heat. Add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking each until incorporated. Cook roux until light brown and bubbling slightly.

Add stock (preferably still hot) 1 cup at a time, whisking. Bring to boil, add potatoes. Simmer potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add corn, lobster, cream, and thyme. Return to simmer, long enough to heat everything through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls, and garnish each with one claw and a pinch of chives. Serves six.

About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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