It’s been unseasonably cool the last couple of nights, so Zach was inspired to make clam chowder. This isn’t exactly New England style because of the bacon, but it’s definitely not Manhattan style either, since there is no tomato. It’s a white chowder with flour as a thickening agent, so it’s more like Hatteras style, but with celery and carrots, it’s most like Zach’s own style.
Makes 8-12, depending on the temperature outside and the appetites present
46 oz. of clam juice
4 cans (6.5 oz. each) of chopped clams
2 1/2 cups of peeled and diced Russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups of diced carrots
1 1/2 cups of diced celery
1 1/2 cups of diced onion
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
8 oz. of bacon
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of white wine
1 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme
1 tsp. of ground white pepper
Bread bowls for serving (optional)
Chop the bacon into small pieces. Render all the fat out by frying until crisp, then straining and draining over towels. Fry in a large pot, because you will use the bacon fat in the chowder itself.
Add the chopped white onions to the pot with the bacon fat. Cook until slightly softened over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and wine, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Open and drain the cans of clams, saving the juice. Add this juice, the other 46 oz. of juice, potatoes, thyme, and pepper to the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking the vegetables, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the flour to make a roux; be sure to stir constantly so as to avoid chunky flour lumps.
Add the roux to the vegetables in the large pot. Cook for about 2 minutes until thickened. Add the clams and the cream, and continue cooking for 3 minutes more to meld the flavors.
Sprinkle bacon on top for garnish.