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Byron is in Hampton, New Hampshire, checking out the largest seafood festival in New England, and getting tips for his own fish chowder recipe.

New Hampshire Fish Chowder


  • 1/4 cups Flour

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup Cidre

  • 2 cups fish stock

  • 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 10 ounces - Halibut

  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel

  • 2 cloves chopped garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme

  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay

  • Black pepper

  • Fennel fronds as garnish


  1. Add oil into pot, sweat veggies (fennel, garlic, shallots, celery, carrots) with butter

  2. Add flour / stir together to incorporate - make sure to continually stir

  3. Slowly add Cidre, stirring as you're pouring in

  4. Add the fish stock - it should bubble as it starts to thicken. This means the roux is activating

  5. Chop your thyme, and add to the pot along with your Old Bay and salt and pepper

  6. Cube your halibut fillet, and add to the pot - cooking for ~ 10 minutes

  7. Add cream and stir around

  8. Serve in a bowl with oyster crackers

New Hampshire Fish Chowder




Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox


- I'm in Hampton, New Hampshire here at the largest seafood festival that New England has to offer. There is a lot to see here, but I'm mainly here for how East Cost does their chowder, so let's go check it out. It's the 24th year of the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, and I'm starting with this year's winner for best bisque and best chowder, the Rye Harbor Lobster Pound. Hi, there. - Hi. - [Byron] How are you? - Great. - This place looks like it's off the hook. - Yes, we are. - I think I wanna try the Montauk salad, the lobster bisque, and the fluffy chowder. - My fluffy chowder. - That sounds great. - This is the Montauk. Shrimp, scallop, and mussel, and a fresh lemon-thyme vinaigrette. It's all made by hand. This is the bisque. - Ah, so rich. So good. Let me try the fluffy chowder now. - [Woman From The Booth] Creamy New England-style chowder with lobster on top. The lobster's in a butter sherry sauce. - So why's it called fluffy chowder? - My husband, he's told a booth that's here, so we took a scoop of clam chowder and then we took a scoop of the hot lobster and put it together, and some lady was like, "What's that? I want that." And he goes, "Oh, I just fluffed up my chowder." She goes, "I want a fluffy chowder." And the next person, "Fluffy chowder. Fluffy chowder." - [Byron] Yeah, that sounds amazing. - And in that year we won best chowder for-- - Fluffy chowder. This is fantastic. Thank you so much. - Oh, you're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it. - [Byron] Now, on to the Old Salt. I hear they've got a seafood stew that I can't miss. Hey, there, how are you? - Good, how are you doing today? - Very, very good. Some serious seafood production going on. How much lobster goes in one of these vats of-- - 25 pounds of lobster meat in there, then there's shrimp, scallops, crab as well, potatoes. There it is right there. - Oh, my goodness. - [Man From Booth] There's a claw right there. - I think I'm definitely going to order the lobster seafood chowder. That looks amazing. - [Man From Booth] Enjoy. - Mm, I just love how chunky this is. Tons of seafood in here. It's almost like having a lobster bisque and a chowder mixed together with a little bit of spicy notes with the cayenne pepper. Just a fantastic dish, and of course it has to go in a bread bowl, right? What's a chowder without bread bowl? The chowders were great. I definitely have some ideas for my own recipe, but I can't leave before checking out one last booth, Petey's Summertime Seafood. Hey, there. - Hi, how you doin'? - Very good, I am stuffed full of chowder right now, but I keep seeing people walking around with lobsters on a stick and other things on a stick. I think you're the guy. - We figured we'd-- - What better than a lobster to put on a stick, right? I'll take the tail and some of the claws. - [Man From Booth] Okay. - Those are just smothered in butter, right? You just keep them in butter all day. - [Man From Booth] All day, that's how we heat them up. - It's marinating in butter. I love that. Oh, boy. - How is it? - Wow. You're not kidding. Let me try the tail now. So good. I think we should heat everything up in butter. I think that's the key to life. - People love it. - This is great. Thank you so much. - You're welcome. - I enjoyed this. This lobster on a stick is great. He has got a good thing going on here. You have to check out the Hampton Seafood Festival. This place is amazing. Must see. Now it's time to go make my own chowder. I tried a ton of great chowders and stews at the Hampton Seafood Festival, so I thought I'd make my own fish chowder. First things first, I'm gonna chop up my vegetables before I start my roux. Just gonna get two branches of celery. And this is just a rough chop. Should be good right there. In the bowl. And now, some fennel. Just take the tops off. But I'm gonna save the fronds for a nice lovely garnish. I really like using fennel. I think it works well with the seafood chowder. I'm gonna cut up two shallots. Just a rough dice. Good right there. All right, so my veggies are chopped, ready to go. Now, I wanna heat up my pan. I'm gonna start off by adding two tablespoons of butter. This is gonna be the base for my roux and that's gonna bring body to the whole chowder. Now, I'm gonna add my vegetables. I just wanna sweat these. No color, just wanna get them till they're transparent but not caramelized. Now I'm gonna add my flour, a little bit at a time to start it out. You don't wanna add too much, otherwise it's gonna clump up. And just keep in mind, you wanna constantly be stirring this. You add some flour, you don't stir it, and you're just gonna get these little pockets of raw flour. That's no good. All right, so this is looking really good. The roux is really coming together. Now, I'm gonna add some Cidre. This is just gonna add a really nice sweet kick to it. With every pour, give it a stir. Keep doing that until you have a nice, solid, creamy base. This is looking absolutely delicious. So the base of my chowder is done. I made some stock ahead of time. This is gonna be the bulk of this chowder. So, if you can, make it ahead of time, just 'cause it takes a few hours to make some stock. So probably about two and a half cups of stock to this. There you go. So my chowder's looking really good. It's coming together nice. Now I'm gonna start cutting my fish. And I have here some beautiful halibut. It's definitely not a traditional choice, but it's my preference. Just a wonderful clean fish, especially for this chowder. And I'm just gonna dice this guy up. Don't need to get too perfect with the dice, but you still wanna keep them relatively the same size because you want them to cook at the same pace. Think this is looking pretty good. Now, I'm just gonna add it to the chowder. I love seeing the chunks of fish in chowder. You know it's a seafood chowder. I wanna add just a few more touches to it and pack some aroma and some spice in it. So, first thing, a little bit of thyme. What you want to do is just run your fingers right down the stem, and this is gonna pull all those leaves off. So you're not chewing on stems when you're eating your chowder. That should be good right there. So the last touch of flavor I'm gonna be adding to this chowder is Old Bay, and I didn't really grow up on this stuff, but out here, it's just a staple for most seafood dishes, so I'm gonna add just a little bit to my chowder. Not too much, just maybe a teaspoon. Also, I'm gonna add just a little bit of salt and pepper to this. Right away, you can smell some of the spices in the Old Bay. It's kinda this clove and cinnamon flavor, but also has some red spices going on. Now, I'm gonna finish this off with a little bit of heavy cream. Add this towards the very end of your chowder recipe just because it tends to break down the more it boils. And this is gonna lighten up the color of the chowder and bring a richness to it. Looking good. All right, my chowder is definitely finished. This is looking just absolutely great. Get a few ladles of this beautiful chowder. Right in this bowl. I love how you can just see the halibut pop right away. Just gonna garnish it. Little bit of fennel fronds. This is just gonna give it a little bit of color on top. Fennel fronds are just really pretty. Plus it might add just a little bit of licorice flavor. Get my oyster crackers out. Give this a pour. So with the oyster crackers, you wanna add these guys right at the last minute because you still want that crunch. You don't want them getting soggy. Good portion here. Just a few more. Now I'm gonna give this guy a taste. And right away, you can see the halibut, just so chunky. Packed full of flavor. The first thing I taste is that Old Bay. Some of that clove, spiciness to it, just a wonderful flavor to this. Light seafood, really clean taste. The Cidre just cuts right through the richness of this chowder. It has a nice hint of apple, just does a great job pairing with this. Thank you so much for watching. Join me next week as I head down the coast to Rhode Island.