South islanders thicken their chowder slightly, others do not. This version produces a thin broth. For a thicker chowder, mash some of the potatoes and stir into the soup as it heats for the last time.
The day before you serve this chowder, clean fowl and cut into pieces. Place in soup kettle, cover with cold water, and heat slowly to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 3 hours. Remove chicken and cool. Pull meat from bones, discard skin and bones, chop meat, and refrigerate. Cool and chill stock, skim fat off top, and refrigerate. The following day return stock and chicken to kettle and simmer 10 minutes, partially covered. Fry salt pork in skillet until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Saute onions in fat until tender. Add onions and salt pork to kettle, along with potatoes, and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk and butter and heat. Season with salt.