Clarissa's Clam Chowder

This creamy, milk-based New England chowder (or "chowdah" to Boston locals) is filled with chunks of potato, bacon for salty flavor and plenty of fresh clams. Get your oyster crackers ready for serving and don't even think about including tomatoes; this isn't Manhattan.

Recipe courtesy Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright
Show: Two Fat Ladies Episode: Lunch
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 10 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 40 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 pints (1 quart or 4 cups) fresh clams
  • 8 ounces speck di proscuitto or other interesting bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 3 small onions, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 pints (3 cups) boiling water
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 pints (3 cups) milk
  • Crumbled crackers, to serve
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Directions

Shuck the clams or steam them open using a little white wine. Keep all the liquor from the shells.

In a heavy frying pan slowly fry the bacon and onions until golden; transfer to a saucepan. Add the boiling water, potatoes and pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the clams, with their liquor, and the milk. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 1 hour.

Just before serving, reheat the chowder. Ladle into bowls over crumbled crackers. You can get rid of alot of anger by putting your packets of crackers in a plastic bag and throwing them on the floor repeatedly, until they reach the required state of crumb. Or stamp on them, says my friend Claire Macdonald.

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  • on January 02, 2012

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    This is a wonderful chowder recipe. What I like most about it is that it's not so laden with fat that it's heavy.

    I made these changes which make it even easier. I started by cutting the bacon into big chunks while cold and pulsing them in the food processer to get fairly fine mince. Then while that was starting to brown, I pulsed the three oninons in two batches till fairly finely chopped. Then into the pan they went with the bacon until somwhat browns. Dumping the bacon and onions in the pot, I deglazed the pan with some dry vermouth and added that to the pot. I used canned chopped clams from a large 51 ounce tin and added a couple springs of thyme.

    Yummy!

    people found this review Helpful.
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