Maine Finnan Haddie Chowder

Recipe Introduction:

This is a recipe from Chef Sam Hayward that was served by Sam at the James Beard Foundation Oscar Mayer Awards night at the Lincoln Center in 2008. He served my Finnan Haddie to all of the country’s best chefs who join together to celebrate their profession.
Maine Finnan Haddie Chowder

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Maine Finnan Haddie Chowder


  • (serves 4)
  • 1 lb Finnan Haddie.
  • 2 medium leeks (white parts only).
  • 1 lb. peeled fingerling potatoes.
  • 4 tbsp sweet butter.
  • 2 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/4″ dice.
  • Fresh milled black pepper and sea salt.
  • 2 cups fish broth.
  • 1 1/2 cups rich cream.


  1. Moisten the Finnan Haddie filets by soaking 30 minutes in cool water, then drain. Cut the Finnan Haddie off the skin in one-inch pieces. Slice the leeks into rounds 1/4″ thick. Rinse the leeks in water and drain. Peel the potatoes and slice diagonally into ovals 1/4″ thick.
  2. Melt the butter, add bacon and cook over moderate flame until lightly browned. Add leeks and cook until lightly softened. Add the potatoes, toss, then add the fish broth. Simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add the Finnan Haddie pieces. Stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Season the soup with black pepper and sea salt. Cover the soup and allow to rest for 15 minutes to ‘ripen’.
  3. To serve, bring the cream to a simmer in a separate pan. Add the hot cream to the soup, stir gently to combine, taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Ladle into soup plates and sprinkle with chives or cheveril. Serve with common crackers or cornbread.

 Serving Suggestion

Serve with common crackers or cornbread.