Unlike Manhattan clam chowder, the New England style of this shellfish dish is creamier, and loaded with plenty of potatoes to add some thickness. We wanted to stay true to that thickness without making a product that tasted too floury. We did use flour, and only a minimal amount of cream to give the dish richness, and added in a little pork to add a subtle smokiness to the taste. Keep reading below for our clam chowder recipe…
New England Clam Chowder
(makes 8 servings)
- 7lbs medium-size hard-shell clams (topneck or small cherrystone) washed and scrubbed clean. (In a pinch, use 4 cans minced clams and 2 bottles of clam juice)
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- salt and ground white pepper
- Bring clams and 3 cups of water to a boil in a large, covered soup kettle. Steam the clams until they just open (3 to 5 minutes). Transfer the clams to a large bowl and cool slightly.Remove the clams from the shells by opening the clams with a paring knife while holding over a bowl to catch the juices.
- Next, sever the muscle from under the clam and remove it from the shell. Reserve the meat in a bowl while discarding the shells. Mince the clams and set aside.
- Pour the clam broth through a fine mesh sieve into a 2-quart measuring cup, holing back the last few tablespoons to prevent sediment from entering the measuring cup. Set the clam broth aside (you should end up with about 5 cups).
- Fry the bacon in a large pot over medium-low heat until the fat renders and the bacon crisps. Add the onion to the bacon and saute until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the flour and stir until lightly colored (about 1 minute). Gradually whisk in the reserved clam juice, then the dry white wine. Add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. Simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes). Add clams, cream, and parsley. Add salt and white pepper to taste, and bring the dish to a simmer. Remove from heat and serve with oyster crackers or hearty bread.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes