Saturday, October 29, 2011

Clam Chowder

Tomorrow is our friend's Julie's birthday so we are having them over for some birthday fun.  I've been planning on making chowder this weekend for a few weeks now, so that's what Julie is getting for her Kam & Bren hang out birthday dinner.  That and a pie thing I made, beer bread, and champagne cocktails!  I kind of made this chowder recipe up, I don't think traditional chowder calls for Old Bay or oregano, but what the heck!  

Clam Chowder
1 1/2 cups bacon
3 cups celery
3 cups carrots
6 cups potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
4 14.5oz cans chicken stock
1 Costco Giant Can Clams (51oz)
4 or 5 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon old bay
3 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
2 cups half and half
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Cut bacon into small pieces using kitchen scissors and fry in a large pot.  Once bacon is crispy, remove some of the bacon fat so you have about 2 tablespoons remaining and add butter, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes.  Sweat veggies for about 10 minutes over medium low.  Add chicken stock, clams and juice, bay leaves, salt, oregano, old bay, pepper and 1 cup half and half.  Over medium low bring to a boil then reduce and let simmer until veggies are cooked through. About an hour.

In a small bowl whisk flour with one and half cups milk until smooth and add to chowder with remaining milk and half and half.  Return to a boil stirring fairly often, reduce and eat when ready!  Top with extra bacon and parsley or oyster crackers.

I haven't made chowder in so long, and I know I've never added Old Bay to it. That stuff is becoming one of my favorite on hand flavor boost spices.  So good on popcorn!  Also, this made a giant pot of soup.  I wanted enough to feed 4 people, send some home with Eric and Julie and have left overs for us.  So I you don't want that much chowder, half the recipe.  Hope everyone is having a fun Halloween weekend!  Enjoy!

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