Nate Nagy’s Clam Chowder

Photo by Michael Piazza

Serves 7–10

½ cup diced bacon
3 shallots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons dry oregano
4 cups milk
2 potatoes, peeled and medium-size cubed
2 cups clam or fish stock
2 cups freshly shucked clams with 1 cup of their juices
1 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons fresh oregano
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon at a low temperature to render out the fat. Add the shallots, celery and dry oregano and cook slowly in the bacon fat until the vegetables are translucent.

Add the butter. Slowly whisk in enough flour to make a roux. The roux should have the consistency of wet sand. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a simmer while continuously stirring. Don’t let the roux stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the potatoes and simmer until tender. Continue stirring. When the potatoes are softened, add the clams, clam juice and fresh oregano. Simmer for 1–1½ minutes, until the clams just start to firm up. Add heavy cream and bring to a low simmer. Garnish with fresh-cracked black pepper.

Editor’s Note: This recipe comes from the chef ’s own kitchen. It is not the same recipe that is used at the restaurant, Neptune Oyster.

This recipe appeared in the Winter 2008 issue.