Chef Larry Cordova’s Penn Cove Mussel Chowder

Chef Larry Cordova presents a classic take on mussel chowder. This is a BIG recipe using 5 pounds of fresh mussels from Penn Cove and LOTS of heavy whipping cream. Yum! Chef Cordova, by the way, has taken his talents to Minnesota, where hes head chef for the Miletta Vista Winery in St. Paul.

A brightly colored bowl of chowder from chef Larry Cordovamade with Penn Cove Mussels


  • ¾ cup of Olive Oil Blend
  • 2 cups small square diced carrots
  • 2 cups small diced Celery
  • 2 cups small diced Yellow Onions
  • 3 Tbsp FreshC hopped Garlic (Not pre chopped in the Jar)
  • 4 Tbsp of fresh chopped Italian Parsley (curly will work but Italian is Better)
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped Rosemary (Fine)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 Tbsp of Pernod Liquor or Ouzo
  • 1 cup of white Wine (dry Chardonnay) or your favorite wine
  • 4 Quarts of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Fresh Ground Sea Salt to Taste. BE CAREFUL. ADD SMALL AMOUNTS TO TASTE!
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups of melted butter
  • 1/1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 5 Lbs. of Fresh Penn Cove Mussels
  • 1 Gallon Of Hot Water
  • 1 loaf of crusty French Bread


Use a large Skillet, place the olive oil in the pan and let heat to the point where it is smoking.

At that point, add all of the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sauté until vegetables are Ala Dente (Firm yet Soft and chewy). Add the Pernod and white wine.

By this time your house is going to smell amazing!! Look out for neighbors coming over and knocking on the door, or your family asking what’s going on in the kitchen.

Add the melted butter and flour in a sauce pan and mix well to create a roux. The roux will thicken the chowder. Not too much though if you like your chowder runny. I like it hearty!

In a separate pan, add the water, bring to a full boil, and place the mussels in that pan.

Cook about 3-5 minutes, until the mussel open up. KEEP THE WATER and get those mussels out the water ASAP. Let them cool, and take the wonderful Penn Cove Mussel meat from the shell.

Place the meat to the side and the shells back in the water. Boil the water until it reduces by half, to create a Penn Cove Mussel Stock. Once you have a stock, use a fine screen mesh to separate any particles that may have settled to the bottom of the pan. Then add the heavy whipping cream to the stock.

Remember the roux you made using flour and butter? Add this to the pot of Penn Cove Mussel Stock and cream.

Mix with a whip until you have a creamy consistency. Once you get your base to a hearty creamy mixture, add all of the sautéed celery, onions, carrots, and herb mixture to your chowder base.

Bring this mixture to a light boil, consistently stirring to avoid burning. I like to use a plastic spatula. Mix this very well and add the Penn Cove Mussel meat. Turn off the heat. If you find your chowder is a little runny or not thick enough, make another Roux.


Add the salt and pepper to your taste, but be careful a little dab will do you.

Add the chopped Italian Parsley to the mixture. Now you have a pot of the most wonderful Penn Cove Mussel Chowder that you probably ever had. This is a little work, but let me tell you, you never had chowder like this before.

Warm Up that loaf of crusty bread and slice or tear it open.

Grab a bottle of white wine to enjoy with your chowder and your family and friends. Nothing brings family and friends together like Chef Larry’s Penn Cove Mussel Chowder.