"Rules for Clam Chowdah Eating:
1. Clam Chowdah does -not- have tomatoes in it.
2. If your spoon doesn't stand up in the middle of the bowl without assistance, your clam chowdah is weak.
3. While eating New England Clam Chowdah, the letter R does not exist in your alphabet until the bowl is empty."
- 6 strips of thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 medium boiling potatoes, pealed and cubed small
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 Chilled 51 ounce can of minced clams in juice (we use the gigantic can of Snow's Clams from B.J.'s)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 cups of half-and-half
- 1 cup of whole milk (more or less depending on thickness of chowdah)
- 1/2 cup Creme Fraiche (homemade is best)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large stainless steel pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot but leave the rendered fat in the pot.
- Add butter and onions. Sweat unions until they start to become translucent. Add flour to the pot to create a roux but keep heat on low to make sure you don't brown the flour; you just want to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Separate clams from clam juice and set clams aside. Add chilled clam juice to roux by whisking it in quickly until the roux is blended smoothly into the clam juice. Add potatoes, creme fraiche, worcestershire, bay leaf, sprigs of thyme and white pepper. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and soft.
- Add half and half, milk, clams and bacon and bring back up to a boil. Shut off, remove bay leaf and sprigs of thyme.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with oyster crackers while watching a New England sporting event.
If you are not a clam person, try this recipe and replace the clams with a firm white fish like haddock or cod. You'll have to substitute fish bullion and water for the clam juice. You can also make a great corn chowdah by using fresh corn cut off the cob and adding extra milk.