Duke's Award-Winning “Champion” Clam Chowder
Makes ¾ gallon
2 cups diced red potatoes
4 slices nitrite-free bacon
½ cup butter
2 cups diced onion
2 cups diced celery
1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
½ cup flour or Duke’s GF Flour Blend (see pg?)
2 tbsp clam base (see shopping tip, below)
1 ½ cups clam juice
1 ½ cups milk
2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
½ tsp fresh organic basil leaves, diced small
1 tsp fresh organic thyme, stems removed and diced small
½ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp fresh organic parsley, stems removed and diced small
1 tbsp fresh organic dill, stems removed and diced small
1 lb IQF Surf Clams (all natural)
Chef “Wild” Bill tip: Custom Culinary makes an all-natural clam base developed for Duke’s. Purchase it in 1 lb containers on Amazon.com under the Gold Label Clam brand.
Blanch potatoes in boiling water until tender. Cool and set aside. Cook bacon in heavy-bottomed saucepan until crispy. Add butter, onions, celery, and garlic, and sauté until tender. Make roux by adding flour. Stir well to incorporate. Continue stirring and bring mixture to 175 degrees then cook for exactly 7 minutes. Do not brown roux. In a separate bowl, mix clam base with clam juice until dissolved. Add to the roux (adding it after the roux has cooked prevents roux balls from forming). Add the milk and cream, then the herbs. Heat until almost boiling (185 degrees), blending constantly with a wire whisk. Add blanched red potatoes and Clams. Simmer at 185 degrees for 2 to 3 minutes or if possible, several hours. The chowder will taste dramatically better after a “cure” or when the herbs have bloomed and the flavors have fully emulsified. Serve at 165-175 degrees.
Chef “Wild” Bill tip: if serving this the next day, place chowder in a 2-inch deep pan and refrigerate. The pan needs to be exactly 2 inches deep or the mixture will not get below 41 degrees in the proper time for safe food handling.