Serving
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Clam Chowder - New England
U.S. Northeast

Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
14 cups  
**
1 hr  
Yes
Clam Chowder is perhaps the most famous of all New England recipes, and this recipe, unlike some canned versions, has actual clams in it! I have served this at parties and it's been extremely well liked. I liven it up with some California Touches which have been declared excellent.



24
1-1/4
4
24
10
8
2
1
3
2
1/4
1-1/2
1/4
oz
#
oz
oz
oz
oz
cl


T
c
c
t
Clam meat (1)
Potatoes (2)
Salt Pork (3)
Clam Juice (4)
Onion
Celery w/leaves
Garlic
Bay Leaf
Thyme sprigs
Butter
Flour, opt. (5)
Half & Half
Pepper
  1. Prepare CLAMS as appropriate for type - see Note-1.
  2. Peel POTATOES and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Hold in cold water until needed.
  3. Dice SALT PORK about 3/8 inch.
  4. Chop ONIONS and CELERY medium small. Crush GARLIC and chop small. Crush CHILI lightly to split it open. Mix all together with Bay Leaf.
  5. Put Potato dice in a pot along with the Clam Juice and Thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are soft. If not using russets crush a few cubes to thicken the soup.
  6. Place Butter and Salt Pork in a sauté pan and fry gently until the pork renders and starts to become crisp. Stir in Onion mix and continue to fry stirring until onions are translucent and threatening to color.
  7. If using flour (see Note-6), stir it in and fry stirring over gentle heat about 2 minutes, making sure it does not brown at all. Then slowly whisk in some broth from the potatoes.
  8. Stir Onion mix into the pot with the Potatoes, then stir in Clams and Half & Half. Adjust liquid with stock or clam juice if needed and season with Salt and Pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes to blend flavors.
  9. Serve immediately or cool quickly and refrigerate for future use. Just bring back to a simmer when needed.
NOTES:
  1. Clams:   Officially you should use live New England Hard Clams but here in Southern California the only live clams widely available are the tiny Manilla clams (Japanese littleneck) and usually some Mexican farmed cherrystone size hard clams. Either variety is unacceptably costly for soup. On the other hand, we have a wide variety of frozen clam meat in the Asian markets, and canned clams are widely available. Canned is easiest, but frozen is better. Prepare each as follows. Combine recovered juice with the bottled Clam Juice. In all cases you should end up with nearly 1 quart of juice.
  2. Potatoes:   In New England, russet potatoes are used, and these are fine for a soup served immediately. For a more durable chowder, like for a party, White Rose work well. Avoid the Yukon Gold types because they turn to mush if cooked just a little long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  3. Salt Pork: This is historically correct, and I use it. Today bacon is often used instead, with some change in flavor.
  4. Clam Juice:   Snow's seems to have a near monopoly on this stuff around here, though I have found a few stores with Crown Prince, which I think is a little better. Bottled clam juice is a lot more watery but less salty than the juice from canned clams or from freshly steamed clams.
  5. Flour:   Most New England clam chowder recipes call for thickening with flour. This is, in my opinion, superfluous and degrades flavor so I don't use it - just crush a few pieces of potato for thickening. Commercial clam chowder is generally heavily thickened to cover the lack of clams in it.
  6. California Touches:  
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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