Best Clam Chowder Recipe
Clam chowder is a delicious soup with loads and loads of clam. Though you may find some restaurants that served this deliciously hearty and loaded broth, the homemade version of this delicacy is incredibly creamy, tasty, and chockfull of clams! And it is quite simple to prepare, read on to get the details.
What Is Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder simply means a type of soup containing broth and clams. Other additions to this delicious soup include onions, diced potatoes, and celery, several people love to include bacon, and you wouldn’t go wrong with a simple garnish like chives and parsley.
Clam chowder is so hearty as well as loaded, especially with almost every bite having clams in it. It is always the best to go for a homemade one since restaurants tend to use little quantity of clams and veggies suffused with loads of cream. When it comes to clam chowder, the DIY version is always better than dining out. Besides, the recipe for clam chowder is a whole lot easier to make than you might think.
Different Types Of Clam Chowder
The most common among all clam chowder recipes is the New England clam chowder, also called Boston clam chowder. Others are Manhattan clam chowder (red tomato broth), Long Island clam chowder (clear broth).
Why People Prefer Canned Clams
For the benefit of those that don’t know, clam chowder is quite easy to throw together with just some pantry ingredients, while most recipes require fresh clams, many people prefer to go for the canned clams for several reasons which are listed below:
- It is definitely easier; all you need to do is to get the cans opened.
- Its pocket-friendliness makes it a popular choice, relative to a pound of fresh clams.
- In addition, using the canned clams alongside the juices gives out a rich flavor; besides, the clams are in abundance, which is something you may not get if you order out.
Now one good thing about preparing your clam chowder personally is that you will be able to control the creaminess, some people like their broth to be very thick while others prefer it to be a bit runny, and enjoyed with oyster crackers; this is quite delicious.
How To Make Clam Chowder
First, instead of going for the usually sliced bacon, thick, center-cut bacon is a whole lot better. The reason behind this is that, while sliced bacon has the tendency to wilt while it simmers, thick bacon is known to hold up to the scorching heat, and the result is a fantastic meaty texture that is quite complimenting to the clams.
Next, ensure that you add russet potatoes – this is ideal for your chowders as it comes with a creamy, melt-in-the-mouth kind of texture.
Finally, everybody has their preference when it comes to how runny or how thick the best chowder should be. Most people go for a roux as a thickener with a cup of heavy cream stirred in towards the end of the cooking. For those whose preferences run to thicker chowder, recommendations are that they shimmer the boiling soup a bit longer than necessary, and be sure to stir in some extra chicken broth. To finish, pile the chowder with some fresh parsley, which may be optional, crispy bacon, and oyster crackers.
New England Clam Chowder
New England clam chowder is considered to the best recipe for this sumptuous soup; this particular recipe is simple and easy. The preparation time does not exceed 40 minutes, with 10 minutes for all the necessary preparations and 30 minutes allocated to the cooking proper. Below is a list of the ingredients and directions for preparing New England clam chowder for six servings.
- Minced /cans chopped clams in juice – 3 6.5 oz.
- Bottle clam juice – 1 8 oz.
- Cut bacon strips (chopped) – 6 thick centers.
- Butter – one tbsp.
- Celery (finely chopped) – two stalks.
- Onion (chopped) – one large bulb.
- Russet potatoes – 1 1/4 pounds 3 1/2 cups (peel this and then dice all into 1/4-1/2” cubes.
- Garlic – three to five cloves (minced).
- Red pepper flakes – this is optional but you may add 1/4 tbsp.
- All-purpose flour – 1/3 cup.
- Low sodium chicken broth – two cups.
- Bay leaves – two.
- Dried parsley – ½ tsp.
- Dried oregano – ½ tsp.
- Salt – ½ tsp.
- Dried thyme – ¼ tsp.
- Pepper – ¼ tsp.
- Heavy cream – one cup.
The garnishing is optional, but you may use fresh parsley or oyster crackers.
- Get a measuring cup and drain the clam juice from opened cans. Put in additional bottled clam juice to make it up to 2 1/2 cups, and then keep it aside.
- Use a Dutch oven to cook your bacon, this is preferably done over medium heat until it is slightly brown, and fat is rendered. Use a slotted spoon to get half of the bacon out of the oven and place it in a plate lined with a paper towel. The bacon and drippings that are remaining should be melted overheat with a tbsp of butter.
- The heat should be increased to med-high, you then add and cook the onion and celery, and sauté until the onions go soft (preferable five to seven minutes). Then throw in the garlic, potatoes, red pepper flakes if need be, and sauté for another 30 seconds. Cook for an additional one minute while you sprinkle in the flour. Then proceed to stir in other ingredients like the reserved clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves, chicken bouillon, and any other seasoning you wish to use. Let the soup boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Uncover the pot and let it simmer until the potatoes go soft (preferably for 15 to 20 minutes).
- The heavy cream goes in while you bring the heat to a simmer. Get rid of the bay leaves, get the pot off the heat, and add the clams. Add salt and pepper; however, you should check the salt in your clam to know if you need to add more. For people whose preferences run to less chunky soup, they should add extra milk, heavy cream, or chicken broth.
- Servings per person should be topped with oyster crackers, the reserved bacon, or fresh parsley if need be. Now just dig in and enjoy your creamy clam chowder.