Crab Chowder Recipe: Finished!

Crab Chowder Recipe

I recently visited the coast with some friends, and wanted to bring back a little treat for my sweetie. The little town didn’t have many places to shop, and so I opted to make my gift a food gift: Crab Chowder.

While we were there, we bought a couple of fresh dungeness crab from a local fish shack — as well as some velvety smoked oysters — and we picked the crab to make some dinner salads. Of course, I wasn’t about to let all those shells go to waste! You know how I feel about stock (or so-called bone broth). So while we were there, I simmered the shells with some celery and garlic for about an hour, then I packed it in a jar for transport.

Then I used it and the leftover crab to make a delicious small batch of chowder, and though I do appreciate a good naturally-thickened chowder that uses no flour or arrowroot, I did end up making this crab chowder recipe with a thickener. It’s difficult to get enough potato starch from such a small quantity!

However, if you use russet potatoes and follow the instructions, you may find that your chowder needs no additional thickener. Leave comments to tell me how it goes.

Crab Chowder Recipe Ingredients

Mise en Place

  • 2-3 cups Crab Stock
  •  1 1/1 cup Potatoes, small dice
  •  1 clove Garlic, peeled
  •  1 tsp Salt
  •  2 cups Whole Milk
  •  1/8 cup minced onion
  •  Pinch of Paprika — smoked if possible
  •  1 Tbsp minced Celery, (or use a touch of Celery Salt in step 1)
  •  Black Pepper
  •  1 Tbsp Butter or Bacon Fat
  • 1/2 cup Picked Crab


  •  1-2 Tbsp Arrowroot
  •  2-3 Tbsp Whole Milk


  • 1-2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • Medium Saucepan with Lid
  •  Wooden Spoon
  •  Strainer
  •  A Few Small Bowls (to hold ingredients)
  •  Small spoon

If Picking Crab:

  • Crab Crackers or kitchen Mallet
  • Fork
  • 2 Bowls, ! large for shells, 1 small for meat
  1. Bring the potatoes, garlic, stock and salt up to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain out the potatoes and garlic, and then separate the garlic and potatoes and hold on the side.
  4. Increase heat to bring the stock up to a boil, and cook it uncovered for 10-15 minutes to reduce to about 1 cup. Set aside.
  5. Mash the garlic with the back of a spoon and sweat it with the onions, celery, paprika and black pepper for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are just softened.
  6. Pour in the milk and set the heat to achieve a vigorous simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by about half.
  7. Add in the potatoes and reduced crab stock. Cook for about 3 minutes to marry the flavors.
  8. Thicken, if needed, by stirring in a little of your chosen thickener while the chowder simmers. Allow the soup to simmer for 1-2 minutes
  9. Stir in the crab and remove from the heat.
  10. Garnish with a light sprinkle of fresh or dried parsley and serve hot.


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