Clam Chowder

We are settling in to our soup and stew season. I was thinking that I wanted to make clam chowder, but I didn’t have a recipe so I started a google recipe round up. You would not believe how many recipes are out there for clam chowder. I think it’s kind of like chili, every region has it’s own style and everyone feels pretty strongly about how to make a proper clam chowder. I didn’t really have any preconceived notions about what I wanted other than it had to be delicious. So I looked at about 15 recipes and then went to work making my own.

This recipe is made in two steps, first I made a clam broth and then in another pot I made the chowder.

For the broth

4 strips of bacon diced
1 small onion diced
3 celery stocks diced
chili flake
1 C sherry
3 C clam juice
2 lemons juiced
1 C water

For the chowder

1 inch of slab bacon cut into lardoons
1 onion diced
4 stocks of celery diced
2 russet potatos cut into 1/4 “ cubes
2tbs butter
1/3 C flour
4 C clam broth
2 C heavy cream
2 6oz cans of chopped clams, drained
4 sprigs of thyme
¼ C flat leaf parsley finely chopped

makes 6 servings

Make the broth first. Dice the bacon and brown it in a large sauce pan. Then add the diced onion and chili flake and sauté until translucent. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and reduce the sherry by half. Add the clam juice, lemon juice and water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the vegetables and bacon.

Now in a stock pot brown the bacon lardoons. Sauté the onions and celery then add the butter and dust the vegetables with the flour. Stir the vegetables to cook the flour, but don’t brown it. Add the clam broth, the potato and bring the soup to a boil. Once the potatoes are tender add the cream, thyme and chopped clams. At this point check for seasoning and stir in the parsley.

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