Give a culinary nod to the Patriots and serve a hearty New England clam chowder during Super Bowl LIII. This distinctly American chowder is a perennially popular soup on the east coast and my straight forward version comes together with ease by making use of pantry stable clams and clam juice. A finishing flourish of steamed fresh clams enriches the overall chowder and celebrates the flavors of New England.
No matter which team takes home the Vince Lombardi trophy on Sunday February 3rd, you can rest assured this Super Bowl themed dish will score a touchdown with your game-day guests!
New England Patriots’ Clam Chowder (8-10 servings)
- 3 Bacon slices, diced
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 3 Celery stalks, halved lengthwise and chopped
- 1 Medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse pepper
- ¼ Cup flour
- 2 Cups chicken stock
- 1 Cup clam juice
- 2-10 ounce cans baby clams with juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed clean and diced into ½” cubes
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- 1 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed clean
Cook the bacon in a medium stock pot over medium-high heat until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and reserve. Add the butter to the bacon drippings in the pot and melt over medium high heat. When the foam subsides add the celery and onion to the pot, season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic to the pot and cook until just fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the flour to the vegetables and mix well. Gradually add the chicken stock to the pot, whisking constantly, until soup is smooth and begins to thicken. Add the clam juice, clams, bay lead and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer until soup thickens slightly and potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes). Add the cream and adjust seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 more minutes.
After adding the cream to the soup prepare to steam the little neck clams. Add water to a high sided skillet to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a boil and add the clams. Cover the pot and allow to steam for several minutes. Remove clams as they open. Discard any that have remained unopened after 10 minutes.
To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl or hollowed bread round. Garnish with the steamed clams, bacon bits, chives and crackers.