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Oyster Chowder (Chaudrée aux huîtres)


Photo by Perry Jackson

Anything that could be harvested rather than bought was sure to be an Acadian staple in days gone by, as the winters were long and money was often scarce.

Serves 2–4

Recipe courtesy of Alain Bossé, The Kilted Chef, from the book The Acadian Kitchen: Recipes from Then to Now


  • 36 raw oysters
  • 4 cups (1 L) heavy cream (35%)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup (125 ml) diced peeled potato, cooked
  • Pinch salt + extra to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) celery seed
  • 1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) hot pepper sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp (22 ml) chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped chives
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Shuck oysters and separate liquid and meat into containers. Reserve liquid.
  2. Over medium heat in large heavy saucepan, bring heavy cream and oyster liquid to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Over medium heat melt butter in large sauté pan. Add celery, onion, potato, and salt. Sweat for 2–3 minutes until onion is translucent.
  4. Add celery seed, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, and oyster meat. Cook 1–2 minutes or until oyster edges start to curl.
  5. Add cream and oyster juice mixture. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes or until fully heated.

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