Recipe of the Week: Smoked Alaska Mussel Chowder

SERVES 8 – 10

PREP TIME 0 minutes

COOK TIME 1 minutes





4 to 5 lb. live (closed) Alaska mussels in shell, washed and de-bearded

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced shallots

1/2 cup minced garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs fresh parsley

6 to 8 arbol chilies

1 bottle of dry white wine

2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 to 1 lb. alderwood chips, moistened



1 lb. bacon, diced

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lb. chopped Alaska Grown yellow onions (1 large onion)

8 oz. Alaska Grown carrots (about 2 to 3 carrots)

8 oz. chopped Alaska Grown celery (about 4 stalks)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 quart Alaska Grown milk

1 pint heavy cream

2 to 3 sprigs thyme

2 to 3 sprigs parsley

1 bay leaf

2 Tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco

1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

3 pounds Alaska Grown red potatoes, diced

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)




Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add mussels, thyme, parsley and chilies; stir well.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes; deglaze by adding wine and chicken stock.  Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until mussels have opened.  Remove mussels from broth, keeping some in shell for presentation, if desired; refrigerate mussels while smoker is heating up.  Simmer broth on low heat until it has reduced in volume by half, to about 5 to 6 cups broth.  Strain broth through a sieve into a bowl; reserve.  Once the mussels have chilled, place them (and shell) on smoker racks and in a smoker with moistened alder chips.  Smoke for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  Remove smoked mussels from their shells and reserve meat for later use.



In a large pot or skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until it has rendered its fat, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add butter and melt.  Stir in onions, carrots and celery; cook over medium heat just until vegetables begin to soften.  Stir in flour to make a roux and cook, stirring frequently, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Gradually stir in milk, cream and reserved mussel broth, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, hot sauce and paprika.  Stir in potatoes and about 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.  Cook, stirring occasionally, just until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Fold in the smoked mussels (or other seafood; if using fresh fish, just add cubed pieces), stir and cook just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.   Taste and add more salt, pepper or hot sauce as needed.  Garnish, if desired, with fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Recipe by Chef Clayton Jones, Private Chef, Anchorage, AK

SOURCE: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Find more recipes at

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