I am a BIG fan of New England Clam Chowder. Understatement. In the past when I have needed a fix, I would go to the grocery store, pick out a can of something with “chunky” in the title and pay all of $2.50 for it, plop it into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up. If I REALLY wanted to treat myself right, I’d order it at a restaurant. Yes, I was such a foodie.
Once I started making things from scratch, I attempted to make NE Clam Chowder myself, all the way from buying fresh (ish…I live in central NY) clams, wash them, steam them, take them out of the shells, de-poop them, rinse them, chop them and THEN proceed to make a steaming pot of NE Clam Chowder. Only made THAT attempt once before I resigned myself to eating NE Clam Chowder in restaurants for the rest of my life. Until…
…my youngest sister discovered that my favorite grocery store, Wegman’s, carried clean, fresh(ish), raw, chopped clams for my chowder-making pleasure in their fresh fish department for only $6.99/lb! Eureka! I got my hands on some as soon as possible and made literally THE best NE Clam Chowder that I and my husband have ever tasted. He even said so, unprompted! So here is my recipe. Go forth and make ye some New England Clam Chowder!
New England Clam Chowder
(My Original Recipe!)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 lg. onions, diced
4 stalks of cleaned celery, chopped
3 lg. carrots, diced large(ish)
4 lg. mushrooms chopped large(ish)
4 lg. peeled potatoes, diced large(ish)
8 cups chicken stock (homemade or purchased low sodium)
1 can creamed corn
2 cups frozen corn (or an additional can of whole kernel corn)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt (+more to season to your taste later)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper (+more to season to your taste later)
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 teaspoons season salt
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 lb. clean, chopped, fresh, raw clams
1 cup 1/2 n’ 1/2
For Roux (to thicken):
5 Tablespoons butter (I use unsalted)
5 Tablespoons flour
3 cups 1/2 n’ 1/2
1) Heat olive oil on med. low heat. Add onions when heated and saute until tender and see-through (about 7 minutes)
2) Add celery, carrots and mushrooms to onion mix. Add the 2 Tablespoons of butter and saute everything for 5 minutes.
3) Add potatoes to mix and saute everything for 3-5 more minutes. If you develop a “crust” on the bottom, this is a good thing! Just turn the heat down a little bit and don’t let the crust burn.
4) Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir well, scraping up any of the brown “crust” that has developed on the bottom of the pan. Add the creamed corn and corn kernels and all your seasonings and herbs. Mix in well.
5) Let that boil while you make your Roux (thickener)
6) Measure out your 1/2 n’ 1/2 and have it in arms reach. In a skillet or saucepan, melt 5 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add Flour and stir continuously and thoroughly until mix looks golden brown and smells “toasted”. Slowly stir in 1/2 of the 1/2 n’ 1/2 and mix well. Add the remaining 1/2 n’ 1/2 and mix well. When rough is thickened, turn off heat and set aside.
7) Check boiling soup mix. When potatoes and carrots are mostly to fully cooked, add every bit of the roux to the soup pot. Once the roux is fully mixed in and the soup has thickened, turn off the heat completely.
8) Slowly add all of the clean clams and any juice they come with, to the pot. Mix in well. Let soup sit for 20 minutes so the clams can cook in the residual heat of the soup. DO NOT turn the heat on again to cook the clams or they will over cook and turn chewy and rubbery!
9) After 20-30 minutes, taste the soup and add 1 cup 1/2 n’ 1/2 and any additional salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, garlic or onion powders you want more of and mix well.
10) Soup is ready to eat! Serve hot with oyster crackers, or hollow out small boule loaves of bread (crust rolls homemade or store-bought, work well for this too especially for kids portions!) and pour soup in, dunking the dug-out bread in your soup. Mmmmmm! Enjoy!
Peace and tasty homemade dishes to your home….