New England Clam Chowder

This creamy clam chowder uses quahog clams.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 1996

Ingredients

  • 6 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled to remove strings and cut into 1/4 dice
  • 1 cup small pearl onion, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsalted clam juice
  • 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 pounds quahog clams, shucked, liquid reserved, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (2 pounds shucked clams)
  • 2 fresh ears yellow corn, kernels removed
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons dry sherry, (optional)

Directions

  1. In a stockpot, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel, and set aside; discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add celery and onions; saute, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until translucent, about 7 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Add clam juice, 1/2 cup water, potatoes, bay leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper; cover; bring to a boil. Pick thyme leaves from stems; add both leaves and stems to pot. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until potatoes are almost fork tender, about 12 minutes.

  3. Add clams and reserved liquid, cover, and cook 4 minutes over medium heat. Add corn kernels, cover, and cook 4 to 6 minutes. Add milk and butter; cook until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems; add remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and salt.

  4. Drizzle with sherry, and garnish with bacon pieces. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Sauteing the vegetables in the bacon drippings gives this thick chowder extra flavor.

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