Tuesday Recipe: New England Clam Chowder

Today’s featured Tuesday Recipe pays tribute to yesterday’s national food holiday: National New England Clam Chowder Day. Being that we at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop are located in New England, we know a thing or two about how to make a delicious “chow-dah.”

What You’ll Need:

8 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 celery stalks, minced

1 large onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups heavy cream

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Fresh chives, chopped

Oyster crackers or Vermont Common Crackers


1. Bring clams and 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Cook until clams just open, 8-10 minutes (discard any that do not open).

2. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer clams to a large, rimmed baking sheet; set broth aside as well. Let clams cool slightly, then pull meat from shells; discard shells.

3. Chop clams into bite-size pieces. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Add water if needed to measure 6 cups.

4. Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon begins to brown; about 8 minutes.

5. Add celery, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent; about 10 minutes. Add reserved broth, potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring chowder base to a simmer; cook until potatoes are tender; about 20-25 minutes.

6. Stir cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Stir slurry into chowder base; return to a boil to thicken.

7. Remove base from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in reserved clams and cream. Season with salt, if needed (clams’ brininess varies), and pepper.

8. Divide chowder among bowls; makes approximately 8-10 servings. Garnish with chives, and serve with oyster crackers.

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