Today we are going to learn how to make an extremely delicate dish, and that is a homemade recipe of clam chowder. This is a very popular meal, and it is often a perfect dish during the Spring and Summer seasons. Let’s firstly go over our ingredients so we can get started:
- chopped onions
- chopped celery
- chopped thick-cut bacon
- chopped potatoes
- fresh corn kernels
- all purpose flour
- fresh thyme
- a few additional ingredients that I will go into as we proceed with our recipe
The first thing I’d like to talk about are the clams. My personal favorite type of clams to use in just about any soup are Cherry Stone Clams. They’re very large, meaty, and they provide incredible texture and flavor to your soup. You can use any other type of clams, but my honest suggestion is that you use Cherry Stone Clams. You might even find that they are less expensive than other clams you’re used to buying.
Let’s talk about how we’re going to clean our clams. First off, you’re going to put them in cold water for 30 minutes and drain the water afterwards. Now get a little cleaning brush (can be found at any local supermarket) and scrub each and every clam. Once they’re scrubbed really well, put them in a clean bowl with clean water and allow them to soak again for another 30 minutes, drain them, and put them into clean water again. That’s the entire cleaning process.
Now we’re going to make our own clam juice. Since we have our clams already there’s no need to buy clam juice. In a large pot, add about 5 cups of water and wait for it to come to a boil on medium-hi heat. Once we have boiling water we’ll add our clams to the boiling water. Also, make sure every clam is tightly closed before purchasing. Another buyers tip is to make sure they don’t have a horrible fishy smell. They should really only smell like the ocean. So once we have all of our clams in the boiling water, we’ll let them boil with a lid on the pot for about 7-10 minutes, or until all of our clams have opened up. After they’ve opened up fully, go ahead and remove them and put them back into our bowl. Now we’re going to take a cooking sieve lined with paper towels and hang it over a bowl. Now we’re going to scoop up the boiled water in our pot and pass it through our sieve and into the bowl. Be sure not to scoop the water from the bottom. We don’t want that water because any sand collected from the clams interior sits on the bottom of our pot. Just hover over the top with a spoon and collect that water only. Once strained, we’ll set that bowl to the side next to our clams.
Now in another pot over medium heat we’ll be adding our bacon and cooking it until it’s nice and crisp. We don’t need oil because there’s already plenty of fat in the bacon. While the bacon is cooking, take the meat out of every clam and chop it all up into bite sized pieces. By this time our bacon should be cooked and scooped out into a small bowl. If your bacon renders out more than 3 tablespoons of fat, then you’ll need to drain some of it. At this point you’ll use the bacon fat to saute onions and celery for about 4-5 minutes. We want them to cook until they are soft. Towards the end of our saute we’ll add in our flour to the vegetables. Once the flour is cooked in we’ll add our diced potatoes, fresh corn, clam juice, and fresh thyme. We’ll let this all come to a boil (about 25 minutes). Now we’re ready to add in our
clams and crisped bacon, some parsley, and salt & pepper. Remember that your clams are already salty, so don’t add too much. After adding in our extra seasonings (parsley and salt & pepper) we’ll let it simmer for about 5 minutes then we’re ready to serve!
That is how you make a super delicious homemade clam chowder soup. Serve and enjoy!