New England Clam Chowder

From America's Test Kitchen Season 4: East Coast Seafood

Why this recipe works:

For the ultimate clam chowder recipe that was not too thin and watery or too thick and floury, we settled on medium-size littlenecks or small cherrystones. We chose waxy red boiling potatoes over starchy ones, which tended to disintegrate in the chowder. We found that thickening with flour was… read more

For the ultimate clam chowder recipe that was not too thin and watery or too thick and floury, we settled on medium-size littlenecks or small cherrystones. We chose waxy red boiling potatoes over starchy ones, which tended to disintegrate in the chowder. We found that thickening with flour was the way to go; it also helped to stabilize the chowder, which can easily separate and curdle without it. Cream turned out to be essential, but our clam chowder recipe needed only a minimal amount, which gave our chowder richness without overpowering the flavor of the clams. Finally, we chose bacon rather than salt pork, a traditional component of chowder, to enrich the flavor with a subtle smokiness.

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Serves 6 (about 2 quarts)

During spring and summer, shellfish spawn, leaving them weak, perishable, and off-flavored. Although clams recover from their spawning phase more quickly than mussels and oysters, they should be avoided from late spring through midsummer.

Ingredients

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