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This chowder is modified from a recipe found in The Simply Seafood Cookbook of East Coast Shellfish by R. Marilyn Schmidt. The Niantic River in Connecticut is a beautiful natural estuary in the shadow of the Oswegatchie Hills that are currently threatened with construction by an unscrupulous developer. The quahogs from the river, along with all the natural wildlife, may suffer should his plans go forward. So enjoy the chowder, and do what you can to fight against this encroachment on one of the area's most beautiful remaining green spaces. Visit http://www.savetheriver-savethehills.org/savehills.html
- In a large saucepan, fry the bacon. Remove the pieces and drain out the fat.
- In the same saucepan to catch some of the bacon flavor, add the olive oil and the onions simmering until translucent.
- Add the potatoes and cover with water, simmering gently until the potatoes are cooked all the way through.
- Add the the quahogs and liquor, and heat. Do not boil! Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the evaporated skim milk but again, do not boil.
- Throw in the the bacon and your good to go.
- HINT: This only gets better with age. I love it after a few hours on the stove. It even freezes well, but be aware that the potatoes can be a little gritty after too long.