Rhode Island clam chowder (yup, you heard us right)

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 28, 2009



Rhode Island might be the tiniest state in the Union, but it's filled with an amazing array of unusual culinary specialties you simply can't find anywhere else.
 
In fact, between the pizza strips, cabinets, Del's lemonade, stuffies and curiously named "New York system" gaggers, Rhode Island is like it's own parallel universe of casual cuisine.
 
Our favorite Rhode Island specialty, though, is its clear-broth clam chowder.            
 
Almost everybody has tried the famous creamy white New England clam chowder – or at the very least knows about it. Some heretics even enjoy red tomato-based Manhattan clam chowder. But you have to be a real afishionado to know about Rhode Island clam chowder.
 
Our favorite Rhode Island clam chowder comes from Aidan's Pub, a nifty little seaside Irish watering hole in Bristol, R.I. overlooking Narragansett Bay. (Bristol, by the way, is quite proud to claim the oldest 4th of July parade in the nation.) The Aidan's gang was kind enough to share the recipe with us. It's awesome stuff ... and real easy to make for your next tailgate.
 
Aidan's Pub Rhode Island Clam Chowder
4 T. clarified butter (or substitute with half stick of butter)
2 large onions, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 pints fresh clams (clams must be fresh)
3 large potatoes, diced
1½ T. fresh dill, chopped
2 T. flour
Salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. clam juice or water
 
Sweat onion and celery in butter over low heat until soft. Add clam meat, while reserving their juice. Stir gently for about 2 minutes. Add flour and dill and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes to form a roux. Add potatoes and cook 3 for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved clam juice and additional clam juice or water. Mix well and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with oyster crackers. Serves about 10.
 

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