Mussel & Saffron Chowder

by Jason Roberts


1kg cleaned and bearded mussels
3 cobs of fresh corn
1 tbs butter
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium sized leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 large potato, preferably a Desiree, peeled and finely diced
3 tbs flour
1 big pinch of saffron
3 cups boiling chicken stock
½ cup cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a heavy skillet fitted with a tight fitting lid, add in the mussels and place over a medium to high heat, shacking and moving the pan every now and then, mussels will start to open slowly, and as they do remove and set aside. Once all open, strain and reserve the mussel juice, Separate the mussel meat from the shells, discard shells unless you would like to reserve a couple in their shells for presentation. Chop roughly the remaining mussel meat.

I find the easiest way to remove corn kernels from the cob is to hold the whole cob (skin and silk removed) flat down on a chopping board and using a chefs knife, cut away the corn in large shards, rolling the corn as you go.

In a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add corn, leek and potato and sweat for a few minutes. Sprinkle over the flour, mixing well to stop flour clumping. Lower the heat and cook for a couple of minutes before gradually adding the boiling chicken stock along with the reserved mussel liquor, mixing well between each addition. Add the saffron and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until potato is soft.

Add cream, bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper, drop in mussel meat and allow to sit for several minutes before serving.

To serve pour into desired vessel and top with a little fresh cream and reserved mussel in the shell (optional), extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper.

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