This Robicheau Family Fish Chowder has been in my family for generations. In this post, I’ll share not only the recipe but a variation too. Here’s the story behind it.
My grandfather, Reg Robicheau Sr., had a wholesale-retail fish market in my hometown of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. For years, he and my father and the other members of the town’s Lions Club made hundreds of gallons of this fish chowder as a fundraiser on Canada Day. Everyone loved it and line ups were long.
I remember Dad and my Grandfather peeling and chopping potatoes and onions for a full day before. Tears would stream down their cheeks and their hands were callused after peeling a mountain of potatoes. But, they loved seeing people enjoy the recipe. And, they loved using the money they raised to support the elderly in the community and to raise money for fighting blindness globally.
My Dad didn’t cook a lot but we could always coax him to make the Robicheau Family Fish Chowder for us. He too was a fisherman. We were blessed with a freezer full of haddock, our favourite. I recently learned that a love of haddock is peculiar to people from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I thought it was everyone’s favourite until I went to Newfoundland and was set straight on this account. It seems Newfoundlanders love cod or “the fish” as they call it and look down on haddock! I loved all the Newfies I met but this is one area we’ll have to agree to disagree on.
Once a year, on New Year’s Eve, Dad would get fancy and treat us to the addition of lobster, scallops, and baby shrimp too. Either way, this Robicheau Family Fish Chowder is my all-time favourite family recipe for comfort food.
This Robicheau Family Fish Chowder is ready in a jiffy and, it’s easy to whip up some biscuits while the chowder is cooking. I’ll share my Aunt Muriel’s easy recipe for biscuits in the next post.
Do you have a nostalgic family recipe like this? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.Print
Robicheau Family Fish Chowder
Warm and hearty, quick to make, follow the instructions for an always flavourful, never-mushy result.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: soups
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: canadian
¼ cup butter
1 yellow onion, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped bite-size
1 lb haddock, chopped in slightly larger than bite-size chunks
1 litre whole milk or half and half cream
Salt and pepper to taste – I like a lot of pepper
1 Tablespoon finely diced chives (optional)
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot on medium, add the butter, melt it, then add the onion and cook until just translucent.
- Add the potatoes, cover with water, bring to a boil, then lower and simmer until fork tender. Tip: Do not let the potatoes go past this point or you will end up with a mushy chowder.
- Add the fish on top of the potatoes in an even layer and cook, covered, on low for 5 minutes. Tip: You are just steaming the fish. Avoid stirring it or again, you’ll end up with mush.
- Add the milk or cream and bring back to a hot temperature (without boiling it) before adding the salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with diced chives when serving (if desired) and enjoy with biscuits or a crusty loaf of bread.
Variation: Make this a fancy seafood chowder by adding a can of thawed frozen lobster, ½ lb of Digby (large) scallops, and ½ lb of baby shrimp when you add the fish. Also, if using lobster, I add a chopped leek with the onion as a nice complementary flavour as well.
Keywords: Robicheau Family Fish Chowder