“Real” New England Clam Chowda

November 15, 2010
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This recipe was submitted by a chef that is a member of the Foodservice Community. He graduated from New England Culinary Institute (best culinary school in the country in his opinion) and has been working in restaurants since the age of 15. He started at a little Italian restaurant run by a 70 year old that made everything from scratch. “I think I could make a marinara with my eyes closed now,” he told us.

The amounts for ingredients are not exact, but close enough (everyone likes to add their own touch). This is his grandmother’s recipe that was tweaked a bit and won second place at the Cape Cod chowda festival.

  • 1 cup Diced Bacon (or Salt Pork)
  • 1/2 lb Butter
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 c Diced Celery
  • 2 c Diced Onions
  • Clam Base
  • 4  c Diced or Minced Clams (canned or frozen – just thaw out)
  • 1/2 gal Water **
  • 1 qt Heavy Cream
  • Light Roux (equal parts butter & flour)
  • Dill
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper

**Can use clam juice if you can find a good quality. Kitchen supplies you’ll need:

  1. Add butter and oil to a pan and let butter melt.
  2. Sauté bacon until rendered, add celery and onion. Sauté them for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
  3. Add garlic, dill, thyme, salt and pepper (real New England clam chowder goes heavy on pepper).
  4. Add in water and clam base to taste. I like to thicken the water at this point when it comes to a boil. This will prevent you from having to boil the cream later and potentially scorching it.
  5. Add in heavy cream and lower heat, slowly bring up to temp to avoid scorching the cream.
  6. Once the soup is almost to boiling point add the clams and turn off the heat. Clams need to be last to avoid making them chewy. If you like, you can sauté the clams with garlic and butter.

Serve in a bread bowl and enjoy!

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