How to Cook Lake Trout Chowder

Not only are lakers a blast to catch, but they’re delicious—especially when ladled into a bread bowl

lake trout chowder teaser.
Go the extra mile and serve this chowder in a hollowed-out bread bowl.Cosmo Genova

Lake trout are abundant, fun to catch, and, contrary to popular belief, make for great eating. If handled and prepared properly, the meat is mild and flakey without a trace of “fishiness.” While it can be cooked a million different ways, the firm meat makes it a great candidate for a chowder because it doesn’t fall apart when cooked, and the almost eggy flavor of the meat complements the creamy broth.

Here’s an easy-to-make chowder recipe using lake trout for us inland anglers who can’t get their hands on some fresh clams. So, the next time you jig or troll up a few lakers, put them on ice and give this recipe a try.

Ingredients

  • 1 lake trout fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 strips of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. sage, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken or game-bird stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Directions

  1. Clean the fish, removing the head and gills. Then fillet and debone the fish, and remove the skin.
  2. Render the bacon in a large pot, then add the vegetables, bay leaves, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook this for a few minutes then add the flour and stir it into the mix.
  3. Deglaze the pot with the wine, then add the remaining ingredients, including the lake trout meat.
  4. Simmer the chowder, stirring occasionally, for about an hour or until it has thickened.
  5. Serve in a bread bowl (optional), and garnish with chives.
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