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Great Lakes Whitefish Chowder

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"A super savory and rich chowder made popular by a famous restaurant in Michigan's UP."

Serves 6-8 | Prep Time 30 minutes | Cook Time 30 minutes

Why I Love This Recipe

This simple whitefish chowder will be a go-to recipe for those cool days on the Great Lakes. Made with ingredients that you may already have on hand. The recipe can be doubled for large families or as a party dish.

Ingredients You'll Need

4 slices smoked bacon diced up
1 ½ cups Vidalia or Sweet Onion diced
One stalk celery diced fine
1 ½ cups Bar Harbor Clam Juice
4 cups diced potatoes
1 ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups whole milk or half and half
1 or 2 whitefish fillet(s), skinless in bite-size pieces
1 ½ sticks butter
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 cup dry vermouth or Holland House Cooking Sherry
Olive Oil


Prepare the onion and celery
Coat the bottom of a large pot with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook bacon pieces over medium-high heat until almost crisp; add onion, celery, and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown about 5 minutes or less. Add the Holland House Cooking Sherry and cook for about another minute.

Prep broth and potatoes
Stir in water, ½ of the clam broth and potatoes, and season with salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning. (a key ingredient.) Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered keeping at a low boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Simmer and add whitefish chunks
Lower heat to medium. Pour in milk and add ½ stick butter. Add the bitesize whitefish chunks and the other ½ of the Bar Harbor Clam Juice. Carefully stir the soup to mix. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Taste and season again if needed. Do not allow to boil.

Make a roux and add to thicken
In a small pan, melt a stick of butter and with a stout whisk, add Wondra flour, and a bit more oil to make a roux. Whisk into the pot enough of the roux to thicken the soup and create a true chowder. Serve in warm bowls with chopped fresh parsley.

Pairs Well With

Fresh baked biscuits or bread

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