I have been working on this recipe with many of my friends for years, trying to make the best chowder to ever hit the world. I have tried hundreds of chowders through out the country in my search for best. I have good ones, and like all of you have had bad ones. I guess a good portion has to do with what you prefer in chowders, East Coast vs. West Coast. I am serving it tonight with fresh cedar plank springer salmon and mushroom risotto. Lets do this thing y’ all.
- 10 razor clams (three cans of minced clams for you non outdoors people)
- 1 cup of diced celery
- 3 cups of cubed red potatoes (1/4 inch cut)
- 6 slices of bacon
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 quart of half and half
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of old bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of celery salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of sherry
- 1 bottle of clam juice
Drain juice from your razor clam bag (they usually produce clam milk when unthawed from the freezer) into skillet, add potatoes, celery and bottle of clam juice and cook for 10 minutes, over medium heat. Do not let boil, then turn off heat.
While the potatoes and celery cook, take your bacon and a large pot and cook your bacon, you want to render grease that you will use later with your roux.
Take the bacon out of the pot and save for later, add your butter. Then slowly mix in your flour. This is called roux, add your half and half slowly while stirring constantly. When you get the entire quart in the bowl keep mixing over medium heat, until you get a smooth almost thick consistency, always mixing. Then turn the heat down to simmer and add your celery and potato and clam juice to the bowl.
While that sits, I take my half of my clams and run through an old fashion meat grinder. I take the other and chop by hand.
Save the juice from the grinder and use it in the soup. Add the bay seasoning, onion powder, salt, pepper, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, celery salt, cooked chopped bacon, and sherry to the soup which you are cooking on simmer. After 30 minutes, I turn the heat off (you don’t want to overcook your potatoes and celery) add all your chopped and minced clams, turn off the heat and cover. You can serve in 10 minutes, or do what I do re-heat on simmer when you are ready to serve. This way you will not overcook your clams.