New England Clam Chowder
The slightly sweet flavors of the leeks and bacon highlight the natural sweetness of fresh clams in this elaboration of a classic chowder. Fresh bay scallops would also be good prepared this way. Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers.
- 1 lg. can clams
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 lb. lean bacon, rind removed, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, including tender green portions, trimmed, carefully washed and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- 1 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 lb. red potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley
Add the bacon and sauté until it just begins to brown. Add the leek and sauté until it begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
Stirring continuously, pour in the reserved clam liquid and the evaporated milk, broth, and wine. When the liquid reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the potatoes and thyme.
When the potatoes are tender, after about 15 minutes, add the clams and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the chives and parsley.