Detroit Style Clam Chowder

In celebration of the eclectic mix of cuisine and cultures that make Detroit so special, I melded together the very best of several different styles of chowder and then gave it a little bit of Detroit attitude. Enjoy!

Yield: 60 ozs. About 4-6 bowls
Collections: American Shellfish Soup

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Detroit Style Clam Chowder Recipe

  • 20 ounces canned clams, with 1 cup of liquid retained
  • 1 cup double strength chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sauterne (white cooking wine)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, white part only, sliced into fine rings
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 pound potatoes, finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon oven roasted garlic paste
  • 3 Turkish bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon gumbo file powder
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Preparation Instructions

1. Begin by draining the canned clams and retaining 1 cup of clam juice
2. Place into a 4 qt. pot the clam juice, double-strength chicken broth, 2% milk, heavy whipping cream, sauterne, and butter. Gently stir to mix well.
3. Place the pot on Medium-Low heat and stir occasionally. Warm this stock liquid slowly and DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL!
4. While the stock liquid is slowly heating, chop the leeks, shallots and potatoes.
5. Once the stock liquid is hot (BUT NEVER BOILING) stir in the red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic paste and bay leaves.
6. Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet and then melt the bacon grease. Add the leeks, shallots, and potatoes and fry until golden. Add the flour, mix well, and then add the corn. Cook for about 1 minute more
7. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the 4 qt pot along with the clams. Mix well and allow the chowder to get very hot, but, again NOT BOILING
8. Add the Gumbo File, mix well, and serve with high quality artisan-style crusty bread.

Yield: 60 ozs. About 4-6 bowls
Helpful Hints

* As noted throughout the recipe, do not allow the stock liquid to boil else the milk fats might clump and ruin the chowder.
* Instead of retaining liquid from the canned clams, use 8 oz. of bottled clam juice.
* Any white wine will work. A suggestion would be to cook with the white wine planned to be served with the chowder


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