New England Patriots: New England Clam and Grilled Lobster Chowder

New England Clam & Grilled Lobstah Chowdah

 By Chef Josiah Citrin 

Yield: 8 servings


For the Soup:

8 pounds Small quahog or Large Cherrystone clams (scrubbed and rinsed)

½ tablespoons Unsalted butter

6 oz Salt pork (rinsed under cold running water for 10 minutes, dried well, then cut into ¼ inch dice and rinsed again for 5 minutes; pat dry) (can substitute bacon instead)

2 cups Sweet onions (small diced)

1 cup Celery (small diced; tender yellow leaves reserved)

1½ teaspoons Garlic (minced)

6 sprigs Fresh thyme leaves

2 each Fresh bay leaves

3 cups Idaho russet potatoes (diced and cut into ¼ inch dice about 1 ¼ pounds total)

3 cups Clam broth from shucked clams (if you do not have enough substitute with store-bought clam juice)

3 cups Heavy cream (reduce by ½)

¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper

Sea Salt

For the Lobster:

2 each Live Maine Lobster or 16 jumbo shrimp

½ cup Distilled vinegar

¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil

For the Finish:

6 Unsalted cold butter parts

¼ cup Parsley leaves (minced)

¼ cup Chives or green onions (finely chopped)




The clams

  1. Place the clams in the freezer for two hours, this kills the clams and makes them easier to shuck. Shuck the clams. Reserve as much juice as possible.
  1. Coarsely chop the clams and save them in a plastic covered container. Reserve the juice in a separate covered plastic container.
  1. Measure the clam juice. You will need 3 cups of juice. Substitute any shortage with store-bought clam juice.

The soup

Tip: This soup is best made a day in advance so the flavors have a chance to mature together. The clams are added at the last minute to give the chowder a fresh briny pop.

  1. Melt the butter with the salt pork in a non-reactive saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until the salt pork starts to render.
  1. Add the onions, garlic and celery. Cook them slowly until soft and translucent about five to seven minutes. (Do not let onions brown).
  1. Add the potatoes, clam juice and bouquet garni (the bay leaves and thyme tied together.) Bring to a simmer; cook gently until the potatoes are just cooked through.
  1. Add the reduced cream and cook for 1 more minute. Remove the soup from the heat and taste for correct seasoning; adjust if needed. Transfer the soup to a large bowl set over a bowl of ice to stop the cooking and quickly cool the soup.

Tip: To re-heat the soup, bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Be sure to check the seasoning, adjust to taste if necessary. Transfer to a primed thermos. A primed thermos has been previously warmed by hot water.

The lobster

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add distilled vinegar.
  1. Put the live lobster into the pot and cook for two minutes, then transfer to a large bowl of ice water and let cool.
  1. Remove the claws and tail from the body. Cut the tail in half, and remove the shells from the claws. Store in a plastic container with a lid in the refrigerator.

The finish

  1. Brush the lobster with extra virgin olive oil. Place on the lobster on the grill flesh side down. Grill for about a minute turn it over and cook for three more minutes on the shell side.
  1. Remove the meat from the shells and cut into ½ inch pieces. Keep warm.
  1. Gently heat the clams in a non-reactive pan for a minute. Spoon the heated clams into warm bowls pour the chowder over the clams and mix.
  1. Sprinkle the lobster, parsley and chives over the chowder. Serve with oyster crackers.


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