- 2 boneless smoked haddock fillets (about 18 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 leek (white and pale-green parts only), minced
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/3' cubes
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- Common Crackers (click for recipe)
Place haddock fillets in a large wide pot. Cover with 5 cups cold water. Place pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until fish is just cooked, about 5 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate; let cool. Discard skin and any scales; flake fish into large pieces. Set a strainer over a medium bowl; strain poaching liquid and reserve.
[To substitute smoked whitefish for haddock: Discard bones and skin from 1 1/2 lb. smoked whitefish. Put fish, 2 thick-cut slices smoked bacon (about 2 oz.), and 4 cups water in a large wide pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; remove fish with a slotted spoon after 5 minutes. Continue simmering liquid (with bacon) until reduced to 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Strain liquid; discard solids. Add 3 cups water; set aside.]
Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add leek and celery and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir in dry mustard, then reserved poaching liquid, potatoes, and thyme sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove half of the cooked potatoes and place in a small bowl. Finely mash potatoes with a fork; return to chowder to thicken. Remove chowder from heat and stir in reserved fish, cream, and chives. Serve in warmed bowls with Common Crackers.