New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam ChowderEver since my last visit to Boston, MA., I just cannot get my mind off, possibly the best clam chowder I have ever had at the Barking Crab. The Barking Crab could be one of the coolest places to hang out on a Sunday afternoon, enjoying the riverside, good music, and some really good food. This place was so good, I ate there twice, and was convinced out of all of the chowder I have had, that it was simply the best. Their chowder was not cream based, but more of a broth, had some really fresh clams, and just looked really simple. As I will most likely try to recreate their chowder and make it my own in the near future, I first wanted to make a nice New England style chowder that was cream based, but not too heavy. This one is a must make for that lazy Sunday, and goes great with a nice and crispy baguette. Now if you are like me, you have had chowders where you are trying to find a potato, or some clams, but just seems as though you are slurping creamy broth. Not mine. As you can see by the picture, it is loaded with a ton of clams and potatoes!

Ingredients:

  • 3 10 oz cans of canned clams, in water if possible, drained (try to avoid the ones residing in oil)
  • 3 cups of clam juice
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 7 russet potatoes, peeled, and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2-3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tbsp of dry sherry
  • couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Nice french baguette, warmed

Begin by warming up your bacon on a low to medium heat in a large soup pot, cooking it until nice and crisp, but not burnt. Next add in your onion, and cook until soft, roughly 5 minutes. Next, add in the flour, stirring the for a few minutes. This will coat the bacon and onion, and thicken. Pretty neat stuff.

Next, add in your clam juice and mix with a whisk. Continue cooking on the low heat, cooking for roughly 5-7 minutes. The sauce will really begin to thicken, much like a gravy. Now is the time to add in the thyme (no pun intended), as well as the bay leave. This is where we are going to really begin to flavor the broth. Toss in the salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Add in all of the potatoes, and mix well, cooking until the potatoes become tender, roughly 12-15 minutes. Stir occassionally.

In another medium sized pan, add in your cream, milk, and clams, and bring to a medium temperature, roughly about the same time, 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to do this because you don’t want to add in cold cream and clams to a warm pot already, it just does not work.

When your potatoes are tender, add in the cream and clams, and mix well. Mix in the dry sherry. Taste and determine if it needs more salt or pepper, and if so, season to taste. Add a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce, and mix again.

Now before you bowl, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and break off a large chunk of the baquette, warming in the oven for about 5 minutes. Bowl and serve.  This was no Barking Crab style chowder, but it was definitely a bowl where many enjoyed.

How do you guys make your chowder? New England style, or Manhattan Style?



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