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New England Clam Chowder

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New England Clam Chowder

The Allure of New England Clam Chowder

As the winter chill seeps through the frosty windowpanes, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of New England Clam Chowder to warm the soul. This iconic dish, hailing from the rugged coastlines of the Northeast, is the ultimate comfort food – a creamy, dreamy concoction that transports you to a cozy seaside tavern, complete with crackling fireplaces and the salty tang of the ocean breeze.

Growing up in a family of seafood enthusiasts, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the briny delights that the sea has to offer. From the moment I could hold a spoon, I was eagerly dipping into bowls of this legendary chowder, savoring each velvety spoonful. The flavors were like a symphony, with the tender clams, creamy potatoes, and smoky bacon harmonizing in perfect unison.

Home Cooking Rocks is the perfect destination to indulge in this beloved New England classic, and today, I’m thrilled to share my own cherished recipe with you. Prepare to be swept away on a culinary journey that will have you craving more with every bite.

Mastering the Art of New England Clam Chowder

When it comes to crafting the perfect New England Clam Chowder, there are a few key elements that truly make all the difference. First and foremost, the quality and freshness of the ingredients are paramount. While you can certainly use canned clams in a pinch, nothing quite compares to the briny sweetness of fresh, shucked clams.

Equally important is the choice of potatoes. Russet potatoes, with their fluffy, almost creamy texture, are the true backbone of this chowder. Their soft, melting consistency is the perfect foil to the chewier clams, creating a harmonious balance in every spoonful.

And let’s not forget the bacon – the smoky, salty essence it lends to the chowder is truly what sets it apart from the rest. Thick-cut bacon, seared to crispy perfection, adds a delightful textural contrast and a depth of flavor that simply can’t be replicated.

As I delve into the details of this recipe, I can’t help but reminisce about the countless times I’ve savored this chowder, both at home and during my travels throughout New England. Spend With Pennies has a fantastic version, and Pressure Luck Cooking offers an Instant Pot take that’s perfect for busy weeknights. But nothing quite compares to the recipe I’m about to share – it’s the culmination of years of experimentation and a deep love for this maritime masterpiece.

Crafting the Perfect New England Clam Chowder

Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to creating the most delectable New England Clam Chowder you’ve ever tasted. This recipe is a true labor of love, but I promise, the end result will be worth every minute.

Gathering the Ingredients

To begin, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds of Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 (6.5 oz) cans of chopped clams, with their juice
  • 2 cups of clam juice
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Bringing it All Together

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until it’s crispy and golden brown. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the rendered fat in the pot.

Next, add the diced onion and celery to the pot, and sauté them in the bacon fat until they’re softened and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the minced garlic and continue cooking for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning.

Now, it’s time to add the diced potatoes to the mix. Pour in the clam juice and the juice from the canned clams, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and let the potatoes cook until they’re fork-tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked through, it’s time to thicken the chowder. In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and all-purpose flour until smooth. Slowly pour this mixture into the simmering pot, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Allow the chowder to simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until it’s nicely thickened.

Finally, stir in the canned clams, dried thyme, and dried oregano. Season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of the reserved crispy bacon and a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.

Savoring the Flavors of New England

As you ladle the chowder into your bowl, the aroma alone is enough to transport you to the windswept shores of New England. The creamy, velvety broth envelops the tender clams and potatoes, creating a symphony of flavors that dance across your palate.

With each spoonful, you’ll be met with the briny sweetness of the clams, the comforting creaminess of the potatoes, and the smoky, salty crunch of the bacon. It’s a culinary experience that’s truly unparalleled, a testament to the skill and passion of New England’s finest chefs and home cooks.

Whether you’re curled up by the fireplace on a chilly winter’s night or enjoying a cozy meal with friends and family, this New England Clam Chowder is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. So grab a spoon, dive in, and let the flavors of the Northeast transport you to a place of pure comfort and joy.


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