This recipe from friend of Wulf’s, Jeff Freedman, is as simple and straightforward as a chowder can get. If you like your chowder a little thicker, use less water and and let the liquid reduce before adding the fish to the pot.
1 cup baby potatoes, quartered
½ cup olive oil
¾ cup chopped leeks, washed and drained
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced fresh celery
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk or cream (depending on preference), warmed slightly
2 cups water or clam juice
8 ounces haddock
8 ounces cod
1 ounce fresh chopped basil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook the potaotes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium saucepot. When the oil is warm, add the leeks, onion, and garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the aromatics are softened and slightly translucent.
Whisk in flour to make a paste and cook, whisking, for a few minutes to toast the flour and make sure it’s well combined. Whisk in the milk or cream and the clam juice or water until smooth, then bring to a simmer. Place the haddock and cod into the pot and simmer gently until fish is cooked through. Add the cooked potatoes and simmer for another few minutes to combine.
Serve garnished with fresh basil.