Rhode Islanders prefer clear sea-flavored broth and why not - they’re surrounded by saltwater. The rich broth of this clear chowder is loaded with potatoes, bacon, clams AND unforgettable flavor.
Rhode Island Clear Clam Chowder
- 8 pounds Taylor clams
- 7 cups water
- 6 cups clam broth (from steaming) or 4 cups clam broth plus 2 cups bottled clam juice
- 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium-size onions, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 3 ribs celery, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add 7 cups of water to a large stockpot fitted with a steamer basket or colander, and bring to a boil.
- Add half the clams to the basket and cover.
- Steam until the clams open, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat with the second batch of clams. Reserve 6 cups of the broth. Set aside.
- Cool the clams.
- Keep them covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Put the bacon in a 5- to 7-quart pot over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Add the butter, onions, celery, and bay leaves.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth to the pot.
- Continue cooking over medium heat until the chowder begins to simmer.
- Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Before serving, remove the pot from the heat.
- Stir in the clams and herbs, discard the bay leaves.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot.