Rhode Island Clam Chowder

one medium onion, chopped
two large celery stalks, slices
five slices bacon, cut up in pieces
fresh-ground black pepper
three ten-ounce cans of clam juice
six cans chopped clams (do not use Bar Harbor brand!)
one small can crushed san marzanos
two big pinches dried thyme
one big pinch dried oregano
two bay leafs
two-thirds cup genever
one and a third pound red bliss potatoes, peeled cut into third-inch cubes
salt to taste
fresh clams (if you want; we didn’t have any, and the fish market was closed)

Sautee the bacon until it is browning nicely and rendering out plenty of fat.

Sautee the onions and celery with plenty of fresh-ground black pepper and the dried herbs until the onions are starting to turn translucent.

Deglaze with the genever, turn up the heat, and reduce until the alcohol is burned off completely.

Add the juice from the canned clams–reserving the clams–the cans of clam juice, the tomatoes, and the bay leafs, and bring to a boil.

Add the potato cubes, turn the heat down to the lowest, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about twenty minutes or so (depends on the size of the cubes), salting to taste.

Add the clams (and fresh clams, if you have them), turn up the heat, and bring back to a boil to fully heat the clams (and cook the fresh clams, if you have them, until they just open). Turn off the heat.

Ladle the shitte into a fucken bowl and eatte ittee!


  1. Pteryxx says

    Thank you for all the pictures (and for not adding flour!) So 1/3 inch potato cubes takes about a twenty-minute simmer?

  2. stevenbelgium says

    I’ve got to ask. What’s the deal with all the extra e’s on the end of the words? It makes the blog very annoying to read.

  3. DLC says

    @4: it’s a style thing ? I don’t know.
    but if it’s Rhode Island, shouldn’t there be a big shot of bigotry and religious intolerance in there somewhere ?

  4. SKM says

    Regarding the roux question, I would not personally do that, perhaps because I am from cioppino country. I did go to college in Rhode Island, though, and I don’t recall flour in the chowder. I’d think the potato starch would be enough to thicken it. If it were too thin, I might add a tiny bit of caramelized tomato paste, but again–that’s a cioppino technique. That and the Pernod, which might be considered an abomination to genever-using chowder cooks out there.

  5. bird.is.the.word says

    I grew up in RI/MA and this is certainly not Rhode Island Chowdah…Tomatoes? You crazy, that shit is NY all the way. RI Chowdah is all about heavy cream with dill & thyme. Bacon & flour optional.


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