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LOCATION: Recipes >> Soups >> Clam Chowder 24

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10 pounds steamer clams
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 1/2 cups water
2 fresh bay leaves
4 fresh sprigs thyme
4 or 5 parsley sprigs tied together
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound salt pork, tough layer of skin removed, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cups yellow onions (about 4 medium) cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 cups russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 6 medium)
1 cup bottled clam juice
2 cups half-and-half
Oyster crackers

Rinse and scrub clams several times to remove as much sand as
possible. Discard any clams with a broken shell. Place clams in
dishpan or sink and just cover with cold water. Sprinkle corn meal
over all and leave to soak for 3 to 4 hours. Rinse one final time
to remove any cornmeal adhering to clams and place them in a large
pot. Add 2 1/2 quarts of water and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil
covered and steam for 12 to 15 minutes or until clams are open.
Remove pot from heat and allow to cool. Meanwhile, heat olive oil
over medium heat in a 10 quart heavy Dutch oven and add salt pork.
Cook, stirring frequently, until fat is rendered and pork pieces
are brown and somewhat crisp. Remove pork with a slotted spoon,
drain on paper towels and reserve. Add onions to pan and cook,
stirring frequently until onions are soft and transparent (do not
allow the onions to brown). While onions are cooking, remove clams
from shells collecting liquid from clams in pot with cooking liquid.
As clams are removed, rinse them in the cooking liquid to remove
any additional sand and reserve. Pour cooking liquid through a
strainer lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth and add to onions. Add
potatoes, clam juice and if necessary, enough water to just cover
potatoes. Cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add
clams, half-and-half and pepper to taste. Cook until heated through
and correct seasoning. Serve in mugs or bowls and sprinkle with
reserved "cracklings." Pass oyster crackers separately.


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