Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
The clam that Rhode Islanders call a quahog possesses an impressive variety of names, and even the word "quahog" has more than one spelling and a number of pronunciations: KO-hog, KWO-hog, and KWA-hog. Indians used quahog shells to make beads that were used as money (called wampum). Although quahogs can be found along the North American Atlantic coast from Canada's Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Florida, these clams are particularly abundant between Cape Cod and New Jersey. From the New England chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947.
- 1 quart quahog, shucked (reserve all of the liquor)
- 12 slices bacon or 12 slices salt pork, finely diced
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups water, boiling
- 1 quart milk
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon bacon fat
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Mince the clams.
- Place bacon or salt pork in the bottom of a large kettle and fry for five minutes.
- Add onion and cook until golden.
- Cover potatoes in boiling water; parboil for five minutes.
- Drain and reserve water.
- Place a layer of potatoes and a layer of minced clams in the kettle with onion; sprinkle with flour and salt/pepper.
- Add remaining potatoes, dredge remaining flour and salt/pepper.
- Cover with 3 cups of boiling water (including the potato water) and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
- Add milk and bring up to boiling point.
- Blend butter or bacon fat with the tablespoon of flour; add clam juice and stir until thickened.
- Add slowly to chowder just before serving.
- Serve hot with crackers.