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Lobster and Mussel Chowder with Baby Red Potatoes

Serves 6-8

© by Stephen Harris

A recipe from the story Setting Day.


  • Onion 1 medium, halved
  • Garlic 1 clove, smashed
  • White Wine 2 cups
  • Bay Leaf 1
  • Black Peppercorns ½ tsp
  • Fresh Thyme 6 sprigs
  • Lobster 1 ½ – 2 lbs
  • Fish Stock 1 can (398 ml)
  • Mussels 2 lbs, rinsed and debearded
  • Unsalted Butter 2 Tbs
  • Leeks 2, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
  • Fennel 1 bulb, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Baby Red Potatoes 1 lb, halved
  • 35% Cream ½ cup
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika for garnish
  • Parsley roughly chopped, ¼ cup
  • Baguette for serving

Cook It

  1. Combine onion, garlic, white wine, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and 1 cup of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add lobster, cover, reduce heat to medium and steam for 12 minutes. Remove lobster and set aside to cool. Add 2 cups water and the fish stock, bring to a simmer and then add mussels, cover the pot and continue cooking until mussels begin to open, 5–6 minutes. Drain mussels in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and reserve the broth; discard any mussels that do not open, then set mussels aside to cool.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, add leeks and fennel, season with salt. Cook until soft, about 6–8 minutes. Add potatoes and strained broth, bring to a simmer and let cook for 10–12 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, remove lobster meat from its shell; discard shells. Cut tail meat into small chunks. Carefully slice claw meat in half lengthwise. Set aside. Remove mussel meat from shells; discard shells.
  4. Once potatoes are tender, add tail meat and mussels to the broth. Simmer gently until the shellfish is warmed through, about 1–2 minutes. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls. Garnish each bowl with half a lobster claw, a sprinkle of smoked paprika and parsley. Serve with crusty baguette.

Chef ’s tip: If the fennel stems and fronds are still attached to the bulb, add to the pot with the onions and garlic in step one to use as an aromatic in the broth.

Recipe excerpted from Canada’s Food Island: A Collection of Stories and Recipes from Prince Edward Island by Farmers and Fishers of Prince Edward Island. Photography by Stephen Harris. Stories and captions by Stuart Hickox. Copyright © 2022 by Lobster Fishers of PEI.