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New England Clam Chowder

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Serves 6-8 | Prep Time 30 | Cook Time 90

Why I Love This Recipe

I developed this recipe during college when I lived in Maine and refined it when I opened my first restaurant there in Bar Harbor.

Years later when I ran The Wayfarer in Canon Beach, Oregon I put it on the menu and quickly was going through 5-10 gallons a day. Also put it into competition and won both Best Clam Chowder and the Peoples Choice Award for the best Chowder on the Oregon Coast.

I've done my best to pare it down to a reasonable portion, but I cook from the hip. So if something seems wrong, or you want to make additions or substitutions, feel free!!

***As with all recipes, the quality of ingredients means so much! At Le Cordon Bleu they instilled us with a "shit in, shit out" philosophy. Buy the best ingredients you can afford, it's worth it!

Submitted by: "Cliff Hotchkiss"

Ingredients You'll Need

.5 cup All Purpose Flour
.5 cup Butter (unsalted is best)

1 Lb Uncured Bacon

2 ea Large Sweet Onion (chopped)
4 ea Large Celery Ribs (chopped)
4 ea Garlic Cloves (minced)
5 ea Waxy Potatoes (like Yukon Gold) (2 Cups diced - soak in water until needed)
4 bottles Clam Juice (total 1 QT)
4 cups Canned Chopped Clams (4 cans -unless you can get fresh, then 2 cups)
2 Tbs Fresh Thyme (chopped)
at least 2 TBS Salt

1 qt Heavy Cream


For the Roux:

Melt butter in small pan over medium heat

Add Flour

Cook, stirring constantly, until it smells like popcorn

Remove from heat and reserve

For the Bacon:

Cover a cookie sheet with 2 layers of foil

Lay out bacon (no overlapping slices)

Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes


Remove or cook until bacon is crisp

Remove bacon to paper towel lined plate.

Reserve bacon fat!

For the base:

Add bacon fat to a pot and heat over med-high heat

Add onion and celery and sweat until onions are translucent

Add garlic and cook 5 minutes

Add 1 Tbs Salt, Clam Juice, and Potatoes (drained)

Bring to boil and lower to simmer

Cook until Potatoes are tender (20-30 minutes)

Lower heat and Add Roux

Gently simmer for 20 min to cook out flour taste

Add Clams, Thyme, and crumbled Bacon (reserve a little for garnish)

At this point you have Chowder Base. It should be VERY thick! It stores well for a few days.

When ready to serve:

Mix equal amounts Chowder Base and Heavy Cream over med-high heat until is reaches a boil.

Season with salt to taste.

Adjust with Base & Cream to achieve desired consistency. It should be thick.

Serve in a bowl. Top with crumbled bacon, a dollop of butter, and fresh chopped parsley

Accompany with Saltines and Tabasco Sauce

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