Boston Lobster and Corn Chowder

Jasper White Cooks a New England Favorite

GMA Recipes Lunch
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Difficult
Cook Time: min

Good Morning America's trip to New England wouldn't be complete without a steaming hot bowl of chowder, so Boston chef Jasper White graciously rolled out his special recipe for Lobster and Corn Chowder.


  • 3 live hard-shell lobsters (1 1/4 pounds each)
  • 3 medium ears yellow or bi-color corn
  • 4 ounces slab (unsliced) bacon, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • Chowder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion (10 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch dices
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped (1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or Prince Edward Island potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or up to 2 cups if desired
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced, for garnish
  • Lobster Stock
  • 2 pounds lobster carcasses and shells
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup dry-white wine
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped with their juice (fresh or canned)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Cooking Directions


    Fill an 8 to 10-quart stockpot two-thirds full with ocean water or tap water that is heavily salted. Bring to a rolling boil. One at a time, holding each lobster by the carapace (the protective shell), carefully drop it into the water. Cook for exactly four minutes from the last time the lobster went in. Using a pair of long tongs, remove the lobsters from the pot and let them cool to room temperature.

    Pick all the meat from the tails, knuckles and claws. Remove the intestinal tract from the tail and the cartilage from the claws. Dice the meat into 3/4-inch cubes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Using the carcasses (bodies), and leftover shells, make a lobster stock (Recipe is below). The stock will take about 1 1/2 hours to cook. Strain the stock; you should have 4 cups.

    Meanwhile, husk the corn. Carefully remove most of the silk by hand and then rub each ear with a dry towel to finish the job. Cut the kernels from the cobs and reserve. You should get about 2 cups. Break the cobs in half and add them to the simmering stock.

    Heat a 4 to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the bacon. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is crisp golden brown. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.

    Add the butter, onion and thyme and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the paprika and cook 1 minute longer, stirring frequently.

    Add the potatoes, corn kernels, and the reserved lobster stock. The stock should just barley cover the potatoes; if it doesn't, add enough water to cover. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 12 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the broth hasn't thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot and cook a minute or two longer to release their starch.

    Remove the pot from the heat; stir in the lobster meat and cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it is chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.

    When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don't let it boil. Use a slotted spoon to mound the lobster, onions, potatoes, and corn in the center of large soup plates or shallow bowls, making sure they are evenly divided, and ladle the creamy broth around. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and minced chives.

    Lobster Stock

    Split the lobster carcasses lengthwise and remove the head sac from each one. Place the carcasses, shells and tomalley (lobster's liver) in a 6 to 8-quart stockpot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil, skimming the white scum from the surface of the stock. (Using a ladle and a circular motion, push the foam from the center of the outside of the pot, where it is easy to remove.) Reduce the heat so the stock is cooking at a fast, steady simmer. 2. Add the wine, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, fennel seeds and peppercorns, and let the stock simmer and cook down for about 1 hour. Add a little water if the stock falls below the lobster shells.

    Season the stock lightly with salt. Taste for a rich flavor. If it seems light, simmer for about 20 minutes longer. Strain the stock with a fine-mesh strainer. If you are not going to be using it within the hour, chill it as quickly as possible. Cover the broth after it has completely cooled and keep refrigerated for up to three days, or freeze for up to two months. Makes about 1 quart.

    Recipes courtesy of Jasper White are from 50 Chowders, copyright 2000

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: lobster, corn, thyme, paprika

    Course: Appetizer/Starter, Lunch, Soup

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