Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Unlike cream- or tomato-based chowders, the Rhode Island version has a clear broth to showcase the briny best in the clams.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 6
Photography: Katherine Wolkoff
Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2012
- 3 pounds large clams in the shell, preferably chowder or quahog, scrubbed
- 3 slices bacon, for serving
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced leek, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed well (about 1 leek)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, preferably fingerlings, cut into chunks
- Coarse salt (optional)
- Fresh basil leaves, torn (from a few sprigs), for serving
Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add clams, cover, and cook just until they open, about 5 minutes (start checking after 4 minutes and discard any chowder clams that have not opened after 6 minutes and quahogs after 7 minutes). Remove clams, and pour broth through a fine sieve into a bowl; reserve 5 cups. Remove clams from shells; roughly chop clams.
Cook bacon in a medium pot over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add bacon fat or oil to fat in pot, and reduce heat to medium. Add onion and leek, and saute until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add wine, and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add potatoes and reserved clam broth. Bring to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender. Stir in clams, and season with salt. Serve immediately with crumbled bacon and basil.