Yankee Seafood Chowder


  • 6 cups water (see “Note”)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 large red potatoes, unpeeled and cubed, or 3 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter (see “Note”)
  • 1 pound partially-cooked, assorted seafood cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons whole-kernel corn
  • 1 can evaporated milk


Put the water, onion, potatoes, salt, pepper, and basil (if using) into a 4- to 5-quart pot over high heat. Bring to a full boil; then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; then add all the assorted seafood. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, just until the meat is partially cook. A lot here depends on the seafood you buy. Some seafood cooks faster than others. You can also bake it, steam it or roast it. Your choice. Remove from heat. Add the corn to the pot; then add the seafood. Let the soup sit on low heat 10 to 15 minutes; then add the milk. Bring to a gentle simmer and serve.

Additional Notes:

For a thicker chowder, use 5 cups of water instead of 6. This chowder will get a lot of flavor from the butter. You can cut the amount to 6 tablespoons if you prefer, but we like to think that the full 8 tablespoons isn’t so bad when divided among multiple servings.