We love Bar Harbor clam juice, which has no salt added and a gentle, briny flavor, for this chowder recipe. It’s a good stand-in for when you don’t want to bother making fish stock (i.e., most of the time).
- 1 medium leek, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 lb. small red potatoes, scrubbed, quartered
- 4 cups no-salt-added clam juice
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. hot-smoked trout, skin removed, flesh broken into small pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
- Trout roe (for serving; optional)
Heat butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-low. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add onion, leek, celery, and bay leaves; cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and softened, 8–10 minutes.
Add potatoes and clam juice to pot; season lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 10–15 minutes. For a thicker texture, smash several pieces of potato against the sides of the pot. Add trout and buttermilk and simmer about 5 minutes (to give flavors time to blend together). Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Ladle chowder into bowls, top with trout roe, if desired, and season with coarsely ground pepper.
Do Ahead: Chowder can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat gently over low before serving.