Classic Lobster Chowder
Total Time: 55 minutes
Hands On Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Dick Bridges' recipe was his mother's. Since he's experienced in making lobster chowder for crowds, he cautions that even if you're cooking for a big group, you should always make it in small batches, a gallon at a time, and let it cool properly. The flavor intensifies nicely if it sits overnight, so if you can, make it a day ahead of time; then reheat before serving the next day.
Read more about about the man who perfected this recipe for lobster 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 par-cooked lobster meat (claw and tail) from 4 or 5 1-1/2-pound lobsters, 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 lobster meat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, just until the meat is fully cooked and the butter is bright orange. Remove from heat. Add the corn to the pot; then add the lobster. Let the soup sit on low heat 10 to 15 minutes; then add the milk. Bring to a gentle simmer and serve.
For a thicker lobster chowder, use 5 cups of water instead of 6. Dick Bridges' chowder gets a lot of flavor from the generous portion of butter he uses. 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.