Clam chowder served in a bread bowl is a meal for all seasons. If you love New England Style Clam Chowder, you will love this quick, delicious recipe. It’s one of our family favorites.
I chose to cook the chowder in a 6 qt. slow cooker set on the highest temperature. Before I began preparing my ingredients, I started preheating my slow cooker by setting the temperature on high and filling it with hot water.
8-10 medium red potatoes, diced
1 ½ Cup of celery, finely diced (about 4 stalks)
1 Cup onion, finely diced
3-8 oz. Bottles of clam juice
2 Bay Leaves
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. dried thyme leaves
3-6.5 oz. cans of minced clams
4 slices of cooked bacon
Additional crispy bacon if desired for a garnish
1 ½ Cup of milk
2 Cups Half and Half
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (additional for garnish, optional)
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. flour
Remove the hot water from your heated slow cooker. Place diced potatoes, diced celery, diced onion, clam juice, bay leaves, pepper, thyme, 4 whole slices of bacon and the juice from the canned clams into the slow cooker. There should be enough liquid to cover your ingredients.
Place the minced clams in a dish, cover and keep refrigerated until needed. Over cooked clams have a tendency to become chewy, so we will add them once the potatoes have cooked through.
The size of your diced potatoes will determine the cooking time. Potatoes can cook quickly once the slow cooker ingredients begin to simmer. Be sure to check them periodically. They should be soft when pierced with a fork, but not falling apart.
Once your potatoes are cooked, remove and discard the two bay leaves and the slices of bacon. Add the milk, half and half, parsley and minced clams.
While the milk and half and half are heating in your slow cooker, prepare a white roux to thicken the chowder. In a separate pan, melt butter on med-low heat. Add the flour and stir. Let the flour gently cook in the butter for about a minute while stirring. The mixture will gently sizzle which eliminates the raw flour taste. Stir, stir, stir, and do not let it brown. Once it has cooked for a minute, remove from the heat and carefully add one cup of the hot chowder broth. Use caution as the liquid may spatter when it touches the hot pan. Quickly whisk until smooth. Again, add a cup of hot chowder broth and whisk until smooth. Add this roux to your chowder and stir until well incorporated. The chowder will thicken quickly. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and crispy bacon bits if you desire.
Do you love white pepper? White pepper is traditionally used in white sauces and soups to maintain their beautiful white color. Personally, I dislike white pepper and go so far as to remove white peppercorns from peppercorn blends. I cannot possibly be the only person who does this. Right? I prefer to use cayenne or black pepper, regardless of the appearance of the soup or sauce. If you are a white pepper lover, please choose the pepper you love!
Bon appetit, my friends!