Sure, you've probably eaten New England clam chowder plenty of times, straight from the can on your local grocery store's shelf. But that's no way to eat a chowder. You have to make it fresh and homemade, right in your own kitchen. The best chowders are made with the freshest ingredients and patience. Jasper White shares his recipe from "The Summer Shack Cookbook", for what is truly a classic homestyle clam chowder. How does he makes it without a thickener? Watch and learn from a master.
Makes 3 quarts; serves 12 as an appetizer or 6-8 as a main course.
All chowders improve after they are made, so allow at least an hour from the time the chowder is cooked until it is served. You can make the chowder 1 or 2 days in advance. Reheat it slowly; never let it boil.
* 10 lbs small quahogs or large cherry-stone clams
* 2 cups water
* 4 oz meaty salt pork, rind removed, cut into small (?") dice (Tip: partially freeze salt pork before use to make it easier to cut)
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter
* 2 medium yellow onions (about 12 oz), cut into ½" dice
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 2 stalks celery (4 oz), cut into ?" dice
* 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed & chopped (1 tbsp)
* 1 large +2 small bay leaves
* 2 lbs Yukon Gold, Maine or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled & cut into ½ to ¾" dice
* 2 cups heavy cream
* freshly ground black pepper
* kosher or sea salt if needed
* ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
* common crackers or oyster crackers (optional)
* 4-6-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid
* fine strainer