Neven Maguire’s mum Vera’s Seafood Chowder

By Neven Maguire

Celebrity Chef

This is a very filling soup that is actually a recipe of my mum’s that we have been making on and off in the restaurant for years. Use the very best quality fish and shellfish for the best flavour


  • 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tblsp butter, softened
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1/2 small leek, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) fish stock (page 254)
  • 100 g (4oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into cubes
  • 100 g (4oz) smoked coley fillet, cut into cubes
  • 100 g (4oz) cooked mussel meat
  • 100 g (4oz) cooked peeled prawns
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tblsp parsley oil (page 250), to garnish
  • fresh micro salad, to garnish
  • makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
  • 250 g (9oz) white fish trimmings and/or bones (such as lemon sole, brill or plaice bones)
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 175 ml (6fl oz) dry white wine
  • 100 g (4oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) rapeseed oil
  • sea salt


  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, tip in the potatoes, onion, carrot and leek and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
  • Gradually pour the wine into the pan and allow it to bubble down, stirring continuously. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon and coley and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mussel meat, prawns and cream and simmer for another 2鈥3 minutes, until warmed through. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each one with the parsley oil and micro salad.


  • Rinse the fish bones and trimmings of any blood, which would make the stock look cloudy and taste bitter. Place into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot with the leeks, carrots, fennel and parsley.
  • Pour in the white wine, then add 2.4 litres (4 pints) cold water to cover the fish and vegetables. Place on a high heat and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, skimming as necessary.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the fish trimmings and the vegetables. Cool and store in a plastic covered jug in the fridge and use as required.


  • Pick the leaves from the parsley and place in a mini blender, discarding the stalks. Add the rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and blend for 5 minutes, until completely smooth.
  • Pass the parsley mixture through a fine sieve into a jug and then transfer to a squeezy bottle. Use as required.


Neven’s tips: This soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Just be careful when reheating not to allow it to come to the boil or the fish will lose its texture. Splash out on a ros茅 Champagne, ros茅 Cava or a ripe Chardonnay from Macon in Burgundy.

This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.

Chicken tray bake recipe by @nevenmaguire or watch @simplybetterds

Watch our brand ambassador @nevenmaguire prepare this delicious Lemon & Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tray Bake using our Simply Better Balsamic Vinegar and our Irish Corn Fed Chicken. Shop the Simply Better Collection in your local Dunnes Stores and find the full recipe below:

Lemon & Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tray Bake
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 Tbsp. Simply Better Cold Pressed Irish Rapeseed Oil
8 Simply Better Irish Corn Fed Chicken Thighs
25g Butter
500g Baby Potatoes, cut into halves or quarters
1 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Courgette, sliced thickly
1 Red Onion, sliced into chunks
1 Punnet of Cherry Tomatoes
1 Red Pepper, sliced
For The Dressing
2 Tbsp. Simply Better Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
2 Tsp Simply Better Organic Cajun Spice Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Simply Better Orange Blossom Honey
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 180掳C (350掳F/Gas Mark 4).
2. To make the dressing, mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine.
3. Heat the rapeseed oil and the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Season the skin of the chicken with salt and pepper before placing skin side down on the pan. Season the flesh side of the chicken and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes skin side down to achieve a good colour. Don鈥檛 be tempted to turn the chicken too soon. After 2-3 minutes, turn over the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the chicken is sealed.
4. Place the potatoes into a roasting dish or large baking tray along with the courgette, red onion and pepper. Carefully transfer the chicken thighs to the dish or tray and nestle them among the potatoes and vegetables. Pour over the dressing.
6. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes. Then remove the tray from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes. Return the tray to the oven for a further 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve straight to the table.