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Salt Cod and Corn Chowder

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 7 cups.

Servings: four to six.

Salt-drying improves the flavor and texture of otherwise bland codfish, making it flaky and toothsome, and salt cod (aka bacalhau in Portuguese, or bacalao in Spanish) is a staple ingredient in the Mediterranean. Serve this creamy stew with oyster crackers, if you like.


  • 8 oz. dried salt cod
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 oz. salt pork, cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium stalk celery, cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears)
  • Two 8-fl.-oz. bottles clam juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 430
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 25
  • Saturated Fat (g): 13
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 125
  • Sodium (mg): 620
  • Carbohydrates (g): 23
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 29


  • One day ahead, rinse the salt cod, put it in a large bowl, and cover with cold water. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water several times.

    In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the soaked cod, and simmer gently over low heat until it flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain and cool. Remove and discard the skin, bones, and any spongy ends. Shred the cod into pieces.

    In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onion, celery, and a pinch of salt to the pot and cook until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and corn. Add 2 cups water, the clam juice, thyme, and bay leaf. Adjust the heat as necessary to reach a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the salt cod, salt pork, heavy cream, and milk. Heat to a gentle simmer, but don’t boil. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig, and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • andyt509 | 08/10/2010

    This was outstanding!! Wonderful flavor and easy to make. Can't get any better.

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