This is a good clam chowder, from Duke's Restaurants in Seattle, Wa. They are famous for their clam chowder.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1⁄4 lb new potato, blanched and diced
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 1⁄2 cups clams, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
- 3 ounces butter
- 2 ounces clam base
- 1 1⁄4 cups clam juice
- 1 pinch garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch white pepper
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne, to taste
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dill
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Cook bacon until transparent.
- Add butter, onions, celery and all the seasoning except dill and parsley.
- Cook until tender. Add flour and cook 3 to 4 minutes over low heat.
- Add all dairy products, clam nectar and base. Heat just under boiling point.
- Steam potatoes and cool.
- Add chopped clams and potatoes. Bring to a boil slowly and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add dill and parsley and serve.
Having lived in the Seattle area for years I am fortunate enough to have eaten at Duke's many times. I have made this recipe many times also, the first time following it exactly and after that making certain modifications. Instead of 4 c heavy cream I use 1 c heavy cream, 1 c half & half, and 2 cups of either whole milk (special occasions) or 2% milk. It is still plenty rich and thick. I also drain the liquid from 4 cans of clams, reserve it to let the sand settle, then use that for the 1.25 c clam juice, adding more if the mixture is too thick. If you can find applewood smoked uncured bacon that is fantastic. Clam base can be hard to find but if you are in Seattle try QFC or whatever replaced Larry's Market :( If you're in the DC area, try Wegmans, Balducci's or Whole Foods. Or ask a reputable seafood market. (Clam base is a thick, moist, paste-like substance that is essentially concentrated clammy deliciousness. If you can't find it it is not the end of the world but it does help.) Now, if someone could just post the recipe for Duke's Pier Pie, which has mysteriously disappeared from their menu, life would be complete....
This is very close to the real dukes chowder, but of course it's not the exact same as at the restaurant. In lieu of clam base, I took to cans of drained minced clams and put then into a food processor with a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper then mid to a paste. Seems to do the trick. I also cut the heavy cream in half and use 2% instead. It's still think and rich, but feels lighter. I would recommend using good thick applewood smoked bacon, not that crap from a cardboard box. I agree with what the founder/ owner of Dukes said about chowder - cook it then let it sit in the fridge overnight to let the seasonings/ herb/ clam flavors develop, then reheat and serve the next day. This is very true. Of the two times I have made this, it improved substantially over night. Make this recipe if you want awesome chowder.
Sometimes you find that special place to eat that warms your heart every time you think of it. Dukes Chowder House is that place for me. The clam chowder there is so amazing I cant wait to find a new friend just so I can introduce them to the best chowder Ive ever tasted.