Recipe

New England-style clam chowder

Warm up with this creamy, seafood broth infused with clams and snapper and seasoned with thyme and tabasco sauce.

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 6
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Ingredients

New England-style clam chowder
  • 750 gram clams in their shells
  • 30 gram butter
  • 6 bacon rashers, chopped
  • 1 large (200g) onion, chopped finely
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped finely
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 large (750g) desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 750 gram firm white fish, boned, skinned, chopped
  • 20 gram salted butter, softened, extra
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • tabasco sauce to taste
  • salt
Fish stock
  • head and bones of 1 medium snapper
  • 1 small (80g) onion, chopped
  • 1 small (70g) carrot, chopped
  • 1 small (200g) leek, trimmed, chopped
  • 1/2 stick celery, chopped
  • 2 stalks parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) dry white wine

Method

New England-style clam chowder
  • 1
    Place clams in a medium bowl, cover with cold water. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  • 2
    For fish stock, rinse fish bones in cold water; remove blood and cut out gills and eyes. Place all ingredients in a large pan. Cover with cold water (about 2 litres); bring slowly to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, skimming the surface occasionally.
  • 3
    Strain the fish stock into a large bowl through a strainer lined with damp muslin or a clean chux cloth. This recipe should make about 1.4 litres of stock.
  • 4
    Drain the clams and place in a medium saucepan with 1cm of cold water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 3 minutes or until the clams have opened.
  • 5
    Drain the clams over a bowl; reserve the clam liquid. You will need about 1 1/2 cups (375ml) of clam liquid. Reserve 12 opened clams in the shell, remove remaining clam meat from the shells.
  • 6
    Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based pan; cook bacon, onion, celery and thyme, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
  • 7
    Add 3 cups (750ml) of fish stock, reserved clam liquid and potato; bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add milk and cream; simmer, uncovered, for further 10 minutes or until potato is just tender. Stir in the fish, then return to the boil; simmer for 2 minutes.
  • 8
    In a small bowl, combine the extra softened butter and flour to form a smooth paste. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chowder a teaspoon at a time. Simmer for a further 2 minutes or until soup thickens slightly.
  • 9
    Add the clam meat and season with tabasco and salt to taste. Remove thyme sprigs and break into pieces. Serve the chowder topped with the reserved clams in the shell and thyme.