Having roots in Boston, my family tends to favor its version of Clam Chowder, aka Clam “Chowda” and New England Clam Chowder. Although I love New York, I am not a fan of Manhattan Clam Chowder which is tomato based. Bring on the cream!
I came across this recipe for a creamy Clam Chowder years ago from a client of mine. It is OMG worthy and as good as you would find in a restaurant, yet it is so easy to make.
The chowder is great served piping hot with some oyster crackers and some crusty bread to clean your bowl with! If I am making a meal out of it, I will serve it with a green salad and a nice glass of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. I have made it for my visiting family on a Friday during lent and it is a filling meatless dinner.
You can make this Clam Chowder in advance (up to one day before) and reheat when ready to serve.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- ¼ lb. unsalted butter
- ¾ lb. potatoes, (2-3) peeled and diced
- ½ cup flour
- 3½ cups clam juice, from bottled clam juice, warmed
- 2 cups chopped clams in can, rinsed well and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2½ cups heavy cream, warmed (I have also made with 2% and whole milk and it is still creamy and delicious)
- 4 slices of thickly sliced peppered bacon, chopped (optional)
- Oyster crackers (optional)
- In a large pot melt the butter and sweat the onions, carrots and celery, covered over low heat.
- Uncover and add the potatoes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the warmed clam juice, whisking until thickened. Add the bay leaf.
- Cook this roux until bubbly, then add the warmed cream, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, then lower heat, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes.
- Once potatoes are cooked, add the chopped clams until warmed through. Taste the chowder for seasoning and remove the bay leaf.
- If you would like to serve with bacon, you can prepare it while the clam chowder is cooking. Cook 4 slices of thickly sliced peppered bacon that has been chopped until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels. Garnish each bowl of clam chowder with the chopped bacon.
If you are a fan of seafood chowders, check out my previous post with my mother’s delicious Fish Chowder recipe. It’s one of my favorites.
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