Brooke Dojny’s Red Potato, Fennel, and Shrimp Chowder
Just as we were wrapping up work on on our big chowder story for Yankee Magazine back in 2015, I learned that Maine cookbook author Brooke Dojny was publishing a new book called Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides & Salads to Match. I’m a longtime fan of Brooke’s work, especially her New England Clamshack […]
This pretty pink and white shrimp chowder can be made with any shrimp of almost any size, but if you get the extra-large or jumbo size, cut them into slightly smaller pieces. Use fresh or thawed frozen shrimp in the shells (which you will have to peel and devein) or frozen shelled shrimp — either cooked or uncooked.Total Time: 45 minutes, plus at least 1 hour resting time
Hands On Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
Notes: To make a quick broth from the shrimp shells, combine the shells in a pot with 1 teaspoon salt and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain. Or you can use bottled clam juice or canned seafood broth, or a combination of any of the above. Pernod is an anise-flavored liqueur; use it if you like a stronger anise flavor.
Shrimp Chowder Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed or finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups shrimp broth, bottled clam juice, or seafood broth (see Notes)
1 fennel bulb (about 8 ounces), halved and thinly sliced, plus 3 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds for garnish
3/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more if needed
2 pounds unshelled shrimp — either small Maine shrimp or any small or medium-size shrimp — or 1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined shrimp
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Pernod (optional; see Notes)
1/4 cup snipped chives
Shrimp Chowder Instructions
Melt the butter in a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute.
Add the flour, whisk for 2 minutes, then whisk in the broth, water, and half-and-half. Add the potatoes, fennel, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
If the shrimp are unshelled, peel and devein. Add the shrimp and paprika, bring just to a simmer, and remove from the heat. Season with pepper and additional salt if needed. You can serve it at this point, but for best results, let the chowder sit at cool room temperature for at least an hour or, better yet, refrigerate overnight.
Reheat over low heat, adding more broth, milk, or water if the chowder is too thick. Stir in the Pernod, if using, and chives. Ladle shrimp chowder into bowls, sprinkle with fennel fronds, and serve
Excerpted from Chowderland (c) by Brooke Dojny, photography (c) by Keller + Keller Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.