Pike are great to catch, but the fight doesn’t always end when you land one. Filleting a pike by trying to remove the Y-bones is the toughest part of all. But, even if you get a beautiful fillet, cut it up and try this recipe.
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
6 slices side bacon, chopped (I cut mine with kitchen shears)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion
14 oz. pike fillets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cups diced potatoes
In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Over medium heat, saute celery and onion in bacon drippings until tender. Add fish, potatoes, broth, thyme, pepper, chili flakes, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
In a medium pot, melt butter, blend in flour, and gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir until it melts. Stir into fish mixture. Discard bay leaf. Top with bacon crumbles and serve.