How to make it

  • 1. To shuck the clams, have two small bowls ready, one for the shucked clams and one to catch the juices that drip from the clams as they are shucked. Run a teaspoon (the eating kind, not the measuring kind) lengthwise down the inside of each clam, keeping it pressed against one shell. That will loosen the first shell. Then turn the spoon over and run it back along the other side, releasing the clam and scooping it out of the shell. To dice the clams, first slice each one lengthwise in half, then cut across into about 1/4 to 1/3-inch pieces to make small dice. You will want to chop the area near the siphon (the part that sticks out of the clam shell and looks like a long, dark neck; the meat in this area is tough) a little finer than the rest of the clam, which is more tender.
  • You should have about 2 cups {1 pound} diced clams. Place the clams back in the bowl and strain the juice over. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • 2. Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced salt pork. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the pork is crisp and golden brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cracklings to a small ovenproof dish, leaving the fat in the pot, and reserve cracklings until later.
  • 3. Add the butter, onion, celery, and thyme to the pot and saute, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
  • 4. Add the potatoes and just enough water to barely cover them. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, cover, and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the broth hasn't thickened, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot and cook a minute or two longer to release their starch.
  • 5. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chopped razor clams. As soon as the chowder comes back to a simmer, remove it from the heat and stir in the cream. Season to taste with pepper and possibly a pinch of salt. (The clams do add their own salt, but since the chowder is made with water instead of clam broth, I have found that it usually benefits from a pinch of salt.) If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • 6. When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don't let it boil. Warm the cracklings in a low oven, around 200 degrees F for a few minutes.
  • 7. Ladle the chowder into cups or bowls, making sure the clams, onions, and potatoes are evenly divided. Scatter the cracklings over the individual servings and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and chives.

Reviews & Comments 3

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  • kdm12701 1 year ago
    Note: The recipe says 2 lbs razor clams when it means 2 cups. Also, why not use clam juice or broth instead of just water? Seems very odd when most chowder recipes call for it. Just wondering. Thanks.
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    " It was excellent "
    Fliesinthewind ate it and said...
    Great recipe. Better with 2 Tblsp flour to thicken.
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  • cuzpat 7 years ago
    Sound very good!
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  • valinkenmore 7 years ago
    Wonderful - one of my absolute favorites but I never have made it from scratch. Thanks so much Shandy!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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