New England Clam Chowder

Thursday, May 11, 2023

New England Clam Chowder

Servings: 6

Prep time:25

Cook time:30

Fresh Ingredients:


4 slices bacon, diced.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced.

1 onion, diced.

1 cup milk

2 russet potatoes peeled, diced rinsed, and drained.

1 cup half and half

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Pantry Ingredients:


½ teaspoon dried thyme

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup vegetable stock

2 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams; juices reserved

1 small bottle of clam juice (in addition to the reserved liquid)

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Round Oyster Crackers or a crusty bread for serving.


For Serving:


Oyster Crackers or some crusty bread.




In this recipe, it is easier to have all ingredients prepped and ready to use. Dicing bacon is ugh! Use scissors.


Begin by heating a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until brown and crispy stirring quite often to make sure it is evenly cooked, and no fatty ends remain uncooked. Scoop out to a paper towel to drain the grease when finished. This took 10 minutes for me. Using a large spoon, drain all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat and discard to a container or a piece of tin foil shaped into a dish.


Add the butter to the stockpot, allow it to melt, then add the onion, cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the thyme and cook for 1 more minute.


Add the flour and stir while this mixture browns, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, vegetable stock, clam juice, and bay leaf. Whisk constantly until thickened. Add the (rinsed) potatoes, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes (15 minutes does not work for me and never has).


When potatoes are tender, stir in the half and half, then the drained clams and heat through.  Add half of the cooked bacon to the pot, use the other half as garnish.



Now - Differently.


Having made literally gallons and gallons of potato soup, beginning with high school home ec class (some 48 years ago) , this is how we did it.


First…we added celery to the ingredients.


So, we added diced potatoes, celery, and onion to a pot with enough water to just cover, seasoned with salt and pepper and boiled until tender, about 30 minutes.


In a separate saucepan, we melted 1/2 stick of butter, added 2 tsp salt, and 3 tbsp of flour. We allowed this mixture to cook for about 3-5 minutes to cook the raw flour taste out. Then, added the milk slowly while whisking constantly until a thick pudding like texture emerged. We then added this mixture to the boiled vegetables, stirring constantly but gently. Adjust the seasoning.


It is at this point, in the above recipe that I would add the clam juices and clams. I might even add a little bit of tarragon, because I love it and I think it would taste good in this dish. I would have added more bacon - half a pound because half of that needs to be stirred into the soup, the rest used as garnish. I also would have added tiny, diced chives, because it needs a small punch - as it was, I used curly parsley which really adds nothing but color, BUT color is important when you stink at styling food and just really take photos of the finished dish. Anyway…




If you have not previously tried making Clam Chowder, this recipe is easy enough to manage, without going all out and using clams in the shell. Although that would make for an attractive photograph, I am not that crazy anymore. LOL. I drew inspiration from two different sources, Damn Delicious, and Carlsbad Cravings and after having made this - using both instructions, see above for what I would do differently to make Clam Chowder


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