How to Make Thick Clam Chowder

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When it comes to clam chowder, some people live by the mantra of "the thicker the better." Make thick clam chowder with help from a seafood chef and expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Seafood Dishes
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Rich Vellante. I'm the executive chef of Legal Sea Foods, and today we are making clam chowder and clam chowder doesn't have a vast amount of ingredients but they have a few ingredients that really blend together beautifully so that they make this homy warm flavorful dish and those ingredients really have to be, which are typical of New England are the top necks or quahogs or quahaugs that people call them, they're the large hard shell clams and the other thing that we make our clam chowder with obviously is well actually not obviously, I don't think a lot of people know it is salt pork and traditionally salt pork was used to give it a lot of flavor and pork obviously gives a lot of things a lot of flavor. So we marry this salt pork in with these quahogs and the top necks and we also have garlic. For some of the thickening agents, we have some butter and flour so we make a rue to the chowder. We have a little bit of Worcestershire sauce which the Worcestershire sauce provides some umami to the chowder and umami being one of those flavors that just makes things taste good and you really enjoy it, but you're not quite sure why, but it just, it gives some nice flavors to it. We have a little bit of cream. We have potatoes that have already been blanched. We have some onions for aromatics and a base flavor and then the last thing we have is some fish stock and clam broth from the quahogs to finish out the flavoring of this chowder. So what I did was I cooked down the salt pork in the garlic and I rendered some of the fat and I also added some of the onions and the onions softened and they give some flavor to it. So the first thing I want to add is a little bit of that Worcestershire sauce and this just gives it, a chowder is something that you want to begin to build flavors with. It's one pot basically that you're adding things to and so the one pot you really need to add layers like you're developing a house, the same thing with the making of a chowder. You're developing flavors and so that they'll all blend together nicely. So I add some Worcestershire sauce in there and now what I'm adding here is some fish stock and also the liquor that was reserved after I steamed off all of those quahogs. And so now what's going to happen here is as that comes up to a boiling point, it begins to thicken. Now at this point I have my blanched potatoes. Now these I blanched ahead of time, almost to just being fork tender. So I add my potatoes and I'm also adding the quahogs that I chopped up. So I'm building this chowder and when this begins to come up to temperature it will thicken and you can kind of see it start to thicken right now and you want to gently bring it up to temperature and right now I'll add my cream and at this point, it will begin to thicken. So I have the chowder that I made already and you can see as it's coming together it's thick, it's rich it's substantial and you just boil it right there, you put it in a bowl and you can see how nice and thick and rich it is. So here it is, clam chowder. You can't go wrong.

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