Sista Felicia’s Haddock Chowder



Our family has had a  love affair with fish and all things from the sea for generations. Being in the fishing industry our family was blessed to always have an endless supply of fresh seafood at their finger tip. For generations, the women in our family  took it upon themselves to continually created new recipes using what was plentiful and in season. During the winter months of my childhood haddock was like chicken in our homes, and Haddock Chowder was served at least once per week.  The sweet white fish has always been a family favorite. I remember Grandma Felicia teaching my mother and aunts how to make her delicious chowder with fresh fish, from Captain Joe & Son’s, in her downstairs kitchen. Today her recipe is still prepared and served for lunch with hot Italian bread, and for dinner as a side dish accompanying baked or fried haddock.  Either way…it was and still is…always delicious!

Fish Chowder


1 stick salted butter

2 large sweet onion; thinly sliced

4 russet potatoes; peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 1/2 cups water

2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk

1 cup half & half

3 large haddock filet


1 combine butter, onion, potato, salt and pepper in 6 qt sauce pan; place saucepan over high heat; melt butter and sauté onion potato mixture 5 minutes; stirring often



2 add water; stir; bring to rolling boil; boil 4 minutes



3 add evaporated milk and half & half; stir



4 cut haddock filet into large pieces



5 add haddock to sauce pan; stir; cook 5-7 minutes or until fish is white in color and not translucent


6 ladle into serving bowl; serve with oyster crackers


Note~ approximately serves, 4 as meal or serves 6 as side dish



  • Reblogged this on New England Heritage Connection and commented:
    Dinner, Fish, Haddock Chowde, side dishr, Sista Felicia Eats.


  • Now this is a precious gift, thank you for sharing, Felicia.


  • We always enjoyed fish chowder in or family, too. The only ingredient I see missing that we used was salt pork. We “tried out” the diced salt pork pieces, and then sauteed the onions in the fat that resulted from that operation. I’m so glad to see that there is NO flour in your recipe, as real New England fish chowder is not, and does not need to be, thickened. Mangia!


  • This chowder is so delicious. Lucky me Felicia is my daughter and I get to eat it.


  • Yum! Thank you for sharing the recipe for my favorite Glosta dish! One question though, do you pre-cook the potatoes at all before stir frying with the onions? So happy to have a delicious chowder recipe that I bet can be used with other ingredients.


  • Looks like a great recipe. My mother also made great fish chowder. She liked to make it a day ahead of serving, claimed that it tasted better if allowed to sit a day.


  • Now this is the real deal…and I love haddock…The fish market I walked by close to house had all the old fish heads out there for soups believe they are taken off for “Stockfish”…Pretty popular this way and get a bunch for little or shall I say WON. Not sure of cost as have never bought any have had the soups however someone else made!


  • I agree, what a gift! Just picked up all the ingredients (wish we weren’t five hours away from fresh haddock). It is in the pot and it looks and smells great. We are so excited since the only place we have fish chowder is in Gloucester’s Causeway when we visit. Upon request I have added corn. Nice addition to an already perfect recipe.


  • This does look delicious ~ I remember my grandfather making this chowder but not my grandmother or mother. I do not have his recipe ~ I only remember watching from the table. Your recipe and photos look delish. You mentioned fried haddock ~ my mothers favorite! However, the only foods to see the bottom of mothers frying pan were bacon, eggs, pancakes, hash, Glosta codfish balls, maryland crab cakes and an occasional burger. The only thing I have added to her list is the Maryland fried green tomato. SO ~ I would love to see a segment on how to fry fish. I’ve tried ~ but it’s not pretty! I continue to do the same thing mother did ~ order fried haddock when we get the Glosta!


  • Well I actually made this today, rainy and gray as the day is. Takes the rainy and gray away; so delicious. Not sure how to send you a photo of it, but trust me it tastes great.


  • I have been searching for a fish chowder recipe that uses evaporated milk. Many years ago I worked at The Galley restaurant on Bearskin Neck. Mike Parillo, the owner, made the best fish chowder in the world and I have been trying to duplicate it. I made your version over this past weekend and it is the closest to Mike’s I have ever made, but he used bacon in it. I am thinking that the bacon took the place of the butter but can’t remember how he did it. In defense of my memory, it was 51 years ago. Oops, I think I just aged myself.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent for cooking.


    • ahhhhh — Mike was my husband and his chowders were extraordinary – always Fish, but occasionally Clish – clams and fish combined! Galley Mike, who died almost 10 years ago, never wrote down a recipe but taught his sons. .. one of whom now makes it on special occasions. I agree, it was always outstanding: he used to saute onions in butter, also cooked bacon separately. . . .I’ll have to try Felicia’s recipe which is sounds delicious. Mike used to cook the potatoes in water and that would become part of the base. Top quality haddock was the only fish he would use and it had to be fresh, never frozen. What a treat to hear from someone else who appreciated his chowders! [Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson ate chowder there, as well as Kevin White and Walter Cronkite.]


      • Hi Liz,
        I remember you well. My maiden name was Peterson and my sister Cindy worked there too… many moons ago (I started working for Mike when I was 14). And then on and off for years.
        Thanks for the tips on the recipe. I couldn’t remember whether the bacon was cooked separately or with the onions. I debated whether to make Clish or Fish but the Fish won out. So nice to hear from you. Take Care, Linda Peterson


      • Liz … Something tells me that I just might be that son, the “one whom makes it on special occasions” … and although overtime I have added some of my own contributions to the original recipe the original ‘formula’ is essentially intact. One of those “special occasions” was a luncheon gathering in our condo on Toronto’s Harbourfront of over 20 predominantly young people from all over the world, including Japan, China, India, Jamaica, Central America, France, US and of course some native-born Canadians and it seemed that somehow everyone could easily relate to “Mike’s Famous Fish Chowder” and they made vigorous short work of gobbling it up to the last drop.
        The French element amongst my house-guests happened to be one of Canada’s celebrity French Chefs and also one of very few designated ‘Master French Chefs’ on the continent (Didier Leroy) and rather then being intimidated by his presence at this luncheon that my wife and I were hosting, I asked him to kindly put Mike’s Fish Chowder to the taste test and to please frankly and honestly let me know his thoughts. To my relief he told me it only needed some salt to bring out the flavor of “le poisson” (the fish). Whew !!! Much to my great relief he actually liked it.
        For the younger people in attendance, whether from India, Japan or Mexico it seemed that each of our guests had some near to close equivalent to speak of within their own different cultures to this famous New England comfort food. I believe this may have been one of the first “Chowder Summits” where ‘Chowder Diplomacy’ was truly put to the taste test. Pun intended …


        • Hello Mark,
          The last time I saw you, you were about 4 years old. Happy to hear you are carrying on the tradition of “Mike’s Famous Fish Chowder”. The very best to you and your family… Linda


  • Thanks for your recipe. Although he didn’t follow your recipe, it inspired my husband to make fish chowder for the first time and it was delicious! Keep ’em coming and thanks for sharing your talents!


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