Manhattan Clam Chowder


My husband has always preferred New England-style Clam Chowder (traitor).  But he tried the Manhattan type once when we went to Red Lobster, and loved it!  We had such a good meal that night, everything was delicious!  I told my friend at work how much we enjoyed it and she said that that particular Red Lobster used to be her favorite restaurant, but now their food sucks.  To each his own.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds littleneck clams (or 1 cup jarred clams with 2 cups clam juice and 2 cups water)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 geaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika (or 1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper)
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • seas salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Clean and scrub clams under cold, running water and discard any with cracked shells.  In a large stockpot bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil.  Add clams and steam for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once.  Discard any clams that do not open.  Strain clams, reserving their juices and transfer the clams to a large bowl.  You should have about 4 cups of cooking liquid.  Wash out stockpot.

Remove clams from their shells, leaving 18 intact in their shells.  Discard shells (except the 18 of course) and coarsely chop clams.

Heat oil in the stockpot, over medium high heat, and cook onions, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring frequently to prevent browning or sticking, until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.  Stir in bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and paprika and cook another 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high and stir in potatoes, broth, and reserved clam cooking liquid.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened somewhat, about 15 minutes.  Add tomatoes and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat.  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Stir in chopped clams and shells so they get warmed.  Season with salt and black pepper and stir in parsley.

To serve:  Divide clams in shells evenly amoung 6 bowls, then ladle in about 1 1/2 cups of chowder.

Serves 6.