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IRON BAY CHEF-Portside Wiggyfish Chowdah

Portside Wiggyfish Chowder


4 ounces salt pork, cubed
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, diced
6 sprigs thyme, chopped fine
2 dried bay leaves
2 pounds potatoes peeled and sliced
5 cups wiggyfish Stock (see recipe at end)
Salt and pepper
3 pounds of wiggyfish fillets, sliced thick, deboned, and washed in rum
1 1/2 cups heavy cream


Heat a large cast-iron pot over medium heat and add the diced salt pork. Cook until the pork is crisp. Remove the crunchy bits and reserve.

Add butter, onions, thyme, and bay leaves to the fat in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook 8 minutes or until the onions have softened.

Add the potatoes and stock. Boil with the pot covered until the potatoes are soft.

Reduce the heat to low and season. Add the wiggyfish fillets and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Allow the chowder to sit quietly for 10 minutes.

Gently add in the cream and season to taste. Allow chowder to rest for 30 minutes before serving

When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over a low heat; don’t let it boil. Warm the cracklings in a low oven (220 degrees F) for a few minutes.

Serve with a sprinkling of fried pork bits.

Wiggyfish Stock:

2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, sliced thin
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 to 8 sprigs thyme
1 cup cinderberry puree
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 wiggyfish head, split lengthwise, gills removed and rinsed clean of any blood (from any source)
3 pounds wiggyfish bones, cut into 2-inch pieces and rinsed clean of any blood
1/4 cup white wine

Melt the butter in a heavy-duty large stockpot over medium heat.
Add the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, cinderberries, and pepper.

Cook for around 8 minutes stirring frequently, or until the vegetables become very soft.

Carefully place the fish head face down on the vegetables.
Place the bones on top.

Pour the wine in the pot, cover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes.
Add enough hot water to just cover the bones.

Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. Skim off the froth but make sure to leave the veggies.

Remove from heat and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
Strain and season lightly with salt.

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  1. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg September 13, 2013

    3 pounds of wiggyfish fillets, sliced thick, deboned, and washed in rum

    Washing with rum…I like this idea.

    • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger September 13, 2013

      It cuts the grease, and adds a certain je ne sais quoi

      • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg September 13, 2013

        Speaking of cutting grease, maybe the urchins would start bathing if they could do so in rum.

        • Kimika Ying Kimika Ying September 13, 2013

          But how long until one of them decides to smoke while in the tub?

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