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Nickerson Lake Chowder Recipe

This is a recipe for a hearty chowder which is best cooked over an open fire in the outdoors, when ice fishing; OR on a wood fired cook stove.

The name is relative to where the chowder is made…it’s also been called Hay Lake Chowder, Chamberlain Chowder, Eagle Lake Chowder … It is a Christmas Eve staple at our house.


  • 1/2 lb. bacon cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tbls. Worchester sauce
  • 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, (or more to taste)
  • 6 cups potatoes, diced to the size of the scallops
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 lbs. game fish fillet- trout or togue, (or haddock or cod)
  • 2 lbs. scallops
  • 2 lbs. shrimp
  • 2 lbs. lobster meat
  • 1 qt half and half
  • ½ cup cooking sherry

Use a heavy thick metal pot to reduce scorching on the bottom, large enough to hold about 2 gallons of chowder.

The first thing that goes into the pot after the pot is hot is the bacon; which has been cut into bite sized chunks.

Once the bacon is browned, throw in the onions and garlic and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Then add about 2 quarts of water and the potatoes, butter, “wash-your-sister” sauce, salt and pepper.

While this simmers until the potatoes are soft, fillet any fresh caught fish and set them aside until the potatoes are tender.

Then add the fish, scallops, shrimp, lobster and just enough water to cover.

If fresh fish happen to be scarce, substitute haddock or cod.

Then cook until the fish is done and meat flakes, 20 minutes or so, but not so long that the fish falls apart.

Just before the mixture starts to boil again, add the half and half and cooking sherry.

Taste for salt and pepper to see if just right.

Bring the temperature back to just before boiling and serve with oyster crackers.

This will feed 15-16 regular people or 10-12 ice fishermen. It is actually better when warmed up the second day. Of course the recipe can be cut in half… And cooked on the kitchen stove…

Written by Al Cowperthwaite on .

New Limerick, ME
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