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Alaska Dungeness Crab & Wild Mushroom Chowder

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Serves: 16 first-course or 8 main-course servings


 1 pound Yukon Gold or other thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
 1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, oysters, and/or shiitakes
 1 Tablespoon butter
 4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
 4 cups chicken broth
 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
 1/4 cup dry sherry
 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
 1 pound shelled cooked Alaska Dungeness crabmeat
 Salt and fresh-ground pepper, to taste


In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine potatoes with cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, rinse mushrooms briefly and drain.  Trim off and discard any tough stem ends; if using shiitakes, discard whole stems.  Cut mushrooms into large bite-size pieces.  In a heavy 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter.  Add mushrooms and stir often until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Pour into a bowl.

Add bacon to same pan over medium-high heat and stir often until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add onion and garlic and stir often until onion is limp, 4 to 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and stir often until just beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk chicken broth and cream into pan and continue whisking until mixture boils and thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Stir in sherry, Worcestershire, and thyme, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Gently stir in potatoes, mushrooms, and crabmeat.  Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until heated through.

Cook's tip: You can substitute common button mushrooms for the wild ones.  To add wild flavor, cover 2 packages mixed dried wild mushrooms (about 3/4 oz. total) with 1 cup boiling water and let soak until soft, about 20 minutes.  Lift mushrooms out gently, squeeze dry, and cut into bite-size pieces; add with button mushrooms.  Substitute the mushroom-soaking liquid for one cup of the chicken broth, pouring it in carefully, leaving the sediment behind.  Wine recommendation: Pinot Noir

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