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Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Yield 22 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 quart chopped, shucked hard-shell clams, undrained (2 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound salt pork, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 pounds)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
  • Whipping cream

How to Make It

  1. Drain clams, reserving liquid; set clams aside.

  2. Cook salt pork in a Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove salt pork, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Set salt pork aside. Add onion, and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add clam liquid, potatoes, and 6 cups water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Add tomatoes and clams; simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.

  3. Heat milk and butter until almost boiling; stir mixture into chowder. Stir in basil. Spoon 1 tablespoon whipping cream into each bowl; ladle chowder over whipping cream. Sprinkle with reserved salt pork. Serve with crackers.