Clear Broth Clam Chowder

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           Found only along the Connecticut shore and into Rhode Island, clear broth clam chowder is made without milk or cream and without any vegetables other than potatoes and onion. The one served at Kitchen Little in Mystic, Connecticut, is a gentle-flavored variation, the sort of steel-gray broth that piques appetite before a full-bore shore dinner.

Roadfood review of Kitchen Little: https://roadfood.com/restaurants/kitchen-little/

8 slices thick bacon (about 1/2 pound)

2 cups chopped onion

2-1/2 cups diced redskin potatoes, skin on

3 cups clam broth

18-20 large, hard-shell clams, shucked and drained, and their liquor

black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

            Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Fry it in a large pot until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces and save them to put in omelets the next morning. Add chopped onions to the rendered bacon fat and sauté them until soft. Add potatoes, clam broth, and enough water to fully cover the potatoes, or at least one cup. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

            Coarsely cut the clams (do not mince or use a food processor). You should have about three cups of clam meat. Strain the clam liquor through a double-layer of cheesecloth to remove impurities or boil it and skim off the foam that rises to the top. Add the clams and clam liquor to the chowder pot. Bring it back to a boil. Simmer three minutes. Remove from heat. Add black pepper to taste. Sprinkle on basil. Serve with crackers.

            6-8 servings

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