I fell in love with Clam Chowder while I was living in Monterey, California. There was a little seafood place on the wharf that served the best clam chowder I have ever had. Nice and thick and creamy, with good size chunks of clam. Just the right amount of bacon so it didn’t overpower the chowder. I have to admit that I really miss those days.
This chowder recipe always brings me back to “the good old days” in Monterey. Admittedly this recipe doesn’t use fresh clams, but there is no reason you can’t if you’d like. I like dicing my potatoes a little larger than most, after all they tend to cook down a bit and I enjoy a nice chunk of potato in my chowder. I also used a combination of milk AND heavy cream in order to get a more rich and creamy chowder. The original recipe called for only 2 cans of minced clams, ha! I want some clams in my chowder, so I usually do 3 or 4 cans of chopped clams. The chopped clams have bigger chunks of clam than the minced.
New England Clam Chowder
3 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 medium red potatoes, cubed into 1 inch pieces
2-3 (6 1/2 oz) chopped clams, undrained
4 slices bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup onion chopped
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup plus 2 tbls flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine water and bouillon cubes in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add potato; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain potato, and set aside. Drain clams, reserving juice. Set clams and juice aside. Fry bacon and onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. Remove bacon and onion, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings. Set bacon and onion aside. Place reserved dripping and butter in Dutch oven; cook over low heat until butter melts. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add reserved clam juice and milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in potato, clams, bacon mixture, salt and pepper. Cook stirring constantly, until mixture is thoroughly heated (do not boil).