New England Clam Chowder with Razor Clams

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Over the past 10 years I have been looking for the best clam chowder recipe I could find.  My friend, Grover has also been on this quest and so the two of us have scoured the earth for the perfect recipe.  He even bribed some lady at the coast that worked at a fishing cannery that said she had the best recipe.  Over the years I have learned a couple of tricks, as well as learned what I do not like in chowder.  Personally for me, I do not like the 95% of thick heavy cream contents.  I want a lot of clams, and I want an authentic clam taste without the heavy cream, or for that matter not to watery either.  This recipe is a good one, and I am happy to finally post it.

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  • Four slices of thick good bacon.  Cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into small dices.
  • 1 cup of celery, cut 1/2 dice
  • 3 cups of clam juice, and if you are using fresh Washington Razor clams, drain that juice as well.
  • 2 cups of chopped clams (I use 2.5-3 cups of clams, because I LOVE CLAMS)
  • 4 cups of Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch diced
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
  • ground pepper
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of ancho seasoning
  • sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Cook bacon in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon starts to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Remove bacon from heat and pour bacon grease out.  Add the butter and onions (I season the onions with a little salt and pepper before I throw them in) and cook over low heat.  Add your bacon back into the pot.

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When it comes to cutting onions, you really need to have someone that specializes in the skills of fine onion cooking.  Someone that isn’t going to start crying once the onion smell emits from the freshly cut onion.

 

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Mady always puts on her “Onion Smell Safety Glasses” when chopping onions.

 

 

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Nothing like a 6 year old that can handle a chef knife

 

Cook until the onions are soft, but not colored, about 8 minutes.  Add the chopped celery and cook, uncovered for about five more minutes.

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Then you want to add the clam broth.

 

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The clam juice rendered in the bag of clams is pure Chowder Gold

 

I make up the difference with the clam juice from the store to get 3 cups of clam juice.

Now add the potatoes, bay leaves, them, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, ancho, and your bay seasoning.

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Bring pot to a buil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer for about 10 minutes.  Take the Razor clams and separate the foots from the bodies.

 

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These are what the feet look like, they are the soft portion of the razor clam.

 

Grover taught me this trick, and it is pretty important.  He even bought me and old grinder but I thought it was faster to use new technology.    You want to chop the foots of the clams into 1/4 inch slices, the foots are already tender and are the morsels that when you bite into it taste like heaven.  The bodies are tougher so you want to mince, so I add them to my food processor.

 

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These are the body of the Razor clams.

 

I grind the bodies of the clams up in a food processor.

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Set clams aside, now this is really important this is what thickens up the consistency of the chowder. Remove the bay leaves and discard them.  Take 1 1/2 cups of the potatoes, celery, soup mixture and add to a blender or food processor and puree it until its a heavy like a thick soup.  See the larger cut potatoes below?  Try to scoop them up and throw into blender.

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Add back into the pot, along with the cream and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat to simmer.

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Add the clams to the simmering pot.

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Stir, and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, add more bay seasoning if you think it needs it.  Serve with chopped parsley or some thyme sprig.

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This one is the Clam Chowder left my taste buds rocking for about two hours after I ate it. I like that it is healthier, and that it is not over powering with heavy cream and too thick.

I hope you enjoy.

The Hunting Chef

Photo Credit: My Good Friend…Phil Ottum

14 Comments on “New England Clam Chowder with Razor Clams

  1. That is true. I think I cracked the chowder code. At least to my taste. Todd and Steph said it was lights out. I’m waiting for you to come over with your spoon

  2. Pingback: Crab Bisque (Not a quick and easy recipe, but well worth the work) « LauraLovingLife

  3. We went clamming this morning at Grayland, WA, and got all the razor clams we wanted on a beautiful sunny morning with a 1.5 minus tide. What a beautiful day! When we got home, I found your perfect, more healthy New England chowder recipe and made it. My husband said it’s the best clam chowder I’ve every made! Thank you, huntingchef.

  4. The best chowder!! I found this site and this recipe Googling for a better Clam Chowder recipe. I am now totally hooked on what Shay has going on! Shay! I love you man! You are inspiring. Hands down…this is best chowder recipe I have tried. In fact, I have made it three times since finding the recipe. It’s so creamy without all the dairy and it’s clammy the way chowder should be. The ancho is a masterful touch as well. Shay, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your recipes. Your food is incredible.

  5. Steve,
    Sorry it took me so long to reply to this, I just found a pile of comments on my site that I had no idea they were there. Thank you for the kind words. I am very honored and I truly enjoy that you like the recipe. Keep on Keeping on brother.

    Shay

  6. Hi Linda!
    Sorry for the delayed response. I am so glad you liked it. I have some new recipes for you on seafood coming soon.

    Hunting Chef

  7. I would say at least 8. Depends how big your bowls are. I usually vac pac and freeze half for another day

  8. Made this tonight with clams we got up near Moclips this weekend. So delicious! I subbed a leek for celery (not a celery fan) and it turned out great. I definitely love that this is not dairy heavy! We will make it again!

  9. I was more than happy to find this site. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!!

    I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you book marked to look at new stuff
    in your site.

  10. I am so happy you enjoyed it. It has taken 10 years to get this recipe right. I must have made it 1000 times. Have a fantastic day and thank you for your comment.
    HC

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