Clam and Catfish Chowder

This recipe is one of several variations I have on my basic clam chowder. I first made this version in 2008.

Ingredients (all measurements approximate: adjust quantities to preference.):
1 smoked turkey leg, or a couple slices of turkey bacon to flavor. (Optional).
1 to 2 cups of chopped frozen Swiss chard

2 dozen fresh cherrystone clams, or substitute 2-3 cans of chopped clams. The Clammier the Better.
1 bottle chardonnay wine
5 or 6 medium red-skin potatoes, quartered.
2 ears corn on the cob
1 to 2 cups of chopped Swiss chard
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 pound catfish, cut into nuggets
½ pound of medium shrimp, cooked, shells removed, and cut into bite sized pieces.
1 6 oz can crab with juice (optional)
1 8 oz package of portabella mushrooms, sliced
olive oil for sauteeing
1 medium to large onion
Old Bay seasoning
pepper to taste (I go heavy on the pepper).
2 ½ cups water
2 ½ cups 2% milk
3 – 4 tablespoons of flour

First, make clam broth. If you are using canned clams instead of cherrystone clams, then I recommend Minors Clam Base as an excellent substitute for making clam broth: just add a scant teaspoon of Clam Base per cup of water and wine.

Pour wine into bottom of steamer pot. Add turkey leg if using.
In steamer basket, place clams, potatoes, corn.
Steam until clams open and potatoes and corn are done.
Pour yourself a cup of clam broth to enjoy now, and leave the rest in the steamer pot for the chowder.
Cut corn off of cob. Remove clams from shells, cut clams in half.

Next, Finish up the Chowder

Pan fry catfish, generously dust with Old Bay seasoning, until just barely done.
Chop the onion and mushrooms into small pieces, sauté in butter or olive oil.
In large soup pot, add all ingredients except milk and flour (including the wine and turkey leg)
Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add additional water as needed.
Add flour to milk, pour into chowder.
Simmer until its soup stir frequently, adding more flour to thicken if needed.
Remove turkey leg before using, reserve meat for some other recipe.

Serve with oyster crackers or sourdough bread.

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