Spicy Clam and Corn Chowder

Total Time:
50 min
10 min
40 min

4 servings

  • Chowder:
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/3 pound lean bacon, chopped
  • 4 large ears corn on the cob, kernels cut off and cobs scraped
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 to 4 small ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 jalapeno or Fresno chiles, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 to 4 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 lager beer
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • Croutons:
  • 3 English muffins, chopped into bite-size cubes
  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • For the chowder: In a soup pot or a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook until the kernels are lightly browned at the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the seafood seasoning, thyme, garlic, celery, bay leaves, chiles and onions, and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat.

  • For the croutons: Arrange the English muffin cubes on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden. Melt the butter with the hot sauce. Place the croutons in a bowl and toss with the parsley, seafood seasoning and the butter mixture. Return to the rack set over the baking sheet and bake until deeply golden. Let cool.

  • To finish the chowder: Place the clams and beer in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, and season with sea salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then cook at a rapid simmer until the clams open, 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.

  • Divide the clams and the cooking liquid among 4 shallow bowls. Ladle the corn chowder over top and garnish with the croutons. Serve with hot sauce.

  • Cook's Notes: You can make the chowder base up to 5 days ahead. Cool and store in the refrigerator, then reheat over a medium flame. Buy the clams within 48 hours of serving and cook them just before you're ready to serve.

  • You can store the croutons in an airtight container or in a foil pouch until ready to use.

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