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.
- 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
- Clean the fish, removing the head and gills. Then fillet and debone the fish, and remove the skin.
- 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.
- Deglaze the pot with the wine, then add the remaining ingredients, including the lake trout meat.
- Simmer the chowder, stirring occasionally, for about an hour or until it has thickened.
- Serve in a bread bowl (optional), and garnish with chives.