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January 21, 2010 / Sarah

National New England Clam Chowder Day

New England Clam Chowder in Bread Bowls
Adapted from Bon Appétit

2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons half and half
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 sourdough boule loaves

  1. Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut a circular “lid” out of the bread loaf, angling the knife inward.  Scoop out the bread’s innards to form a bowl with 1-inch thick sides and bottom.  Repeat for all loaves.
  3. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually stir in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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