Saturday, January 31, 2015

New England Clam Chowder

I was asked to make New England Clam Chowder for the Super Bowl party we are attending... before anyone even knew that the Patriots were in it. I'm not into football or gambling but this may be a sign. 
This chowder is traditional New England style and by no means a healthy version, but it's below zero here in CT so we need to splurge. 
Typically when I make this in the summer I use fresh thyme from the garden and buy local fresh shucked clams but today it's going to be shucked clams from wherever Stop&Shop gets them. I am thankful that I have some cheek bacon in the freezer that I bought from our local farmers market in the fall. This recipe is very rich and will feed a small crowd. 
New England Clam Chowder
4oz salt pork diced finely (or cheek bacon)
3 large onions diced
4 celery stalks diced
4tbs butter
1/2 cup flour 
4-5 Yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced into 1" pieces
4 bottles clam broth or 4 cups fresh clam broth 
2 cups heavy cream
2 pints shucked chopped clams
Thyme, salt and pepper
Oyster crackers on the side

In a soup pot cook pork until all fat is rendered. 
Remove from pot, add butter and sauté onion and celery until wilted, not letting them brown at all. Season with salt and pepper. 
Add flour and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, again not letting it brown. 
Add broth and cook until it thickens. Add potatoes and thyme, you may need to use a bit of water to cover them entirely
Simmer covered on medium low heat
For 30 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add clams and cream and bring to simmer again. 
Check for seasoning. The amount of salt you add depends on the salt pork and clams you use. This chowder is delicious right now but it's going to be even better tomorrow.  Happy Super Bowl!

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