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authentic new england clam chowder
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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6


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Step 1

Rinse and scrub the clams well in cold water. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large, widemouth stock pot. Add the clams, cover the pot and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shells open. The shells will open at different times. Remove the clams with tongs as they open and set aside to prevent the meats from overcooking.

Step 2

Let the broth sit for about 10 minutes to allow any grit or pieces of shell to settle to the bottom. Slowly strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer but don’t pour off the last few ounces which contains the grit. Set the broth aside.

Step 3

Heat the bacon in a medium-sized stock pot over low heat until a few tablespoons render out. Remove the bacon. Before serving the chowder, you can crisp the bacon in the oven, chop it into bacon bits and add it as an optional topping.

Step 4

Add the onions and saute about 5 minutes until onions are softened. Add butter, if needed, for additional cooking fat.

Step 5

Add clam broth, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and bring to a boil.

Step 6

Add potatoes, cover pot and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Step 7

While the potatoes cook, remove the clam meats from their shells and chop roughly, into quarters or halves. Leave some whole, if desired. You’ll get about 2 cups or 1 pound of clam meats.

Step 8

Add 1 cup heavy cream and taste. Add up to one more cup of heavy cream, to desired taste. Remove the pot from the heat.

Step 9

Optional thickening step: Mix 1/4 cup of potato starch with 1/4 cold water. Drizzle into the chowder and stir continuously for a few mintues until the chowder thickens slightly. Be careful not to overthicken it!

Step 10

Add the clam meats and stir in.

Step 11

Ladle into individual bowls and add optional seasonings, to taste.