My Recipe Box

Sausage, Potato, and Fennel Chowder

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Serves 4

  • by Jessica Bard from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

Somewhere between a soup and a stew, this comforting winter dish becomes pleasantly thick from mashing the potatoes into the broth just before serving.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into large dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into large dice
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut into large dice (about 2 cups), plus 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fennel fronds for garnish
  • 3 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 4 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring with a wooden spatula to break it up into small pieces, until it starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the potato, onion, and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the sherry and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, heavy cream, and lemon zest and stir until incorporated.

Using the spatula or a potato masher, gently crush the cooked potatoes until most of them are mashed and the stew is somewhat thickened. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Serve hot, garnished with the fennel fronds.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 350; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 22; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 33; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 900; Cholesterol (mg): 35; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was delicious and a huge hit with adults and kids alike. Perfect weeknight cold weather meal. Quick and easy. Made the following modifications: 2 potatoes, and might actually try 3 next time. Added a few shakes of crushed red pepper when cooking the sausage. Used 2lbs. of sausage. Used baby kale instead of flat parsley. Used 6 cups of chicken broth and 3 tbs of cream.

I made this tonight with no sherry and no fennel bulb (couldn't find it). I added 1/2 cup of rice because my husband wouldn't eat it without it. I added a little salt and pepper after I served myself and it was so delicious! It had a very thick stew like consistency. Don't forget the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and heavy cream. I added some fresh spinach to the pot, only zest one small lemon (was more than enough) and served it with a side of garlic bread. I also drained the fat off of the sausage as well. Great recipe.

I've made this four times. Tried both hot and sweet sausage. Key is to use a really good, highly flavored sausage and this recipe is fantastic. I also tend to use a whole pound rather than 3/4 lb.

GREAT Weeknight dinner! There aren't a lot of ingredients so I think it makes a difference to start with good sausage for flavor. I did use hard cider instead of sherry (what I had around), left out the heavy cream (lactose-intolerance) and didn't mash it (too much work for Tuesday night). Lemon zest and sun-dried tomatoes were great additions! Will make again!

This is the first recipe I've made from Fine Cooking that I didn't love. Followed directions exactly, except omitted sun dried tomatoes (don't love them and didn't have them on hand). It was okay, but not a keeper for me.

We used the spicy Italian sausage as well and the family loved it. However, as written the recipe doesn't call for the sausage fat to be removed and I really thought it made the chowder rather heavy. I'll be adding this recipe to my book, but with a note to remove at least half the fat after sauteing the sausage.

Made with hot Italian sausage instead of sweet and it was outstanding.

Made with hot Italian sausage instead of sweet and it was outstanding.

This was a disappointing effort in the kitchen. We found it bland and uninteresting. My daughter summed it up with "eh". Not a keeper.

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