Canned clams are salty, so chances are you won't need to add any salt to the chowder. Also, be sure to read the label on the cans if anyone in your family has food sensitivities; some canned clams have monosodium glutamate.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 8–10
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 2 baby carrots, grated
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth or water
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 large russet or red potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and diced
- 2 6 ½-ounce cans chopped or minced clams
- 2 cups heavy cream
Melt the butter in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots; sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until transparent.
Stir in the pepper, thyme, and flour. Whisk until the butter is absorbed into the flour. Slowly add the broth or water, whisking continuously to blend it with the butter-flour roux.
Add the milk, bay leaf, and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Check and stir the chowder frequently to prevent it from burning.
Stir in the clams and cream. Bring to temperature, remove the bay leaf, taste for seasoning, and serve immediately.
Chop leftover steamed clams and add them to a macaroni salad. For a complete quick and easy lunch, serve it over lettuce and garnish the clam-macaroni salad with chopped fresh parsley or dill.