Recipe: Clam Chowder


January 21st is National New England Clam Chowder Day, which shouldn't be confused with National Clam Chowder Day on February 25th. In some states, it's illegal to put tomatoes in your chowder, so it's worth paying attention to these things. Stick with this recipe courtesy of Captain Kidd's Fish Market & Restaurant. It's New England-approved.

We also have a cheat's recipe here.

Clam Chowder
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Clam juice:
100 fresh clams
1 cup white wine

½ package Bacon (large chunks)
¼ lb. whole butter, unsalted (1 stick)
3 cups white onion, medium dice
1 ½ cups celery, medium dice
1 ½ cups leeks, cleaned and medium dice
1 cup white wine
5 cups clam juice (reserved from above)
4 cups Yukon Gold potato, medium dice
3 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ¾ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
Chopped clams (reserved from above)

For the clam juice: Heat a large pot over high heat until hot. Transfer drained clams to pot and add white wine. Cover the pot with a top, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes. Once all the clams are open, transfer them to a large bowl filled with ice water. Using a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, carefully strain the clam juice from the pot. Reserve the juice. (This should yield 5 cups of clam juice.)

Once the clams are cold, remove the meat and discard the shell. Once all the clams are cleaned, chop them into large chunks and reserve.

For the chowder: Chop bacon into large chunks and cook on medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel and reserve.

In a small pot, add Yukon potato ends and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it simmer until the potatoes become mushy.

In a large, 2-gallon pot, melt the butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add the white onion, celery, and leeks. Cook until they become soft, stirring frequently. Add white wine and reduce by half.

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Add clam juice, Yukon potato dice, heavy cream, and whole milk. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until potatoes are tender, then turn off heat

Strain the potato scraps and transfer the scraps to the blender. Ladle a small portion of the cooking liquid into the blender and puree until smooth. Add puree back into remaining chowder.

Add reserved bacon and clams to chowder. Mix to incorporate evenly then taste. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

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