I'm a New Englander through and through and ergo, I enjoy clam chowder. But with apologies to my mother, I'm offerng my own recipe for this comfort food classic. This recipe includes all the traditional ingredients of true New England clam chowder: It's rich and thick without being glunky because we've all had that bad bowl of glue.
7 pounds cherrystone clams, well-scrubbed and rinsed
3 cups water
4 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, diced small
2 tablespoons flour
3 large red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream
In a large soup pot over high heat, add clams to 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook just until clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove clams from broth and set aside. (Discard any clams that don't open.) Strain broth through a sieve lined with a coffee filter and set aside.
Clean your soup pot; then over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until it's browned and fat is rendered. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
Add diced onion to the pot and sautê until translucent. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Whisk in reserved clam broth. Add potatoes and thyme, and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove clams from shells, reserving liquid, and chop roughly. Strain liquid; then add clams and liquid to the pot. Stir in parsley and cream and cook just long enough to heat clams through, about 3 minutes.
(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)
Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.