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Dining Tip: Creamy Clam Chowder

Bacon and paprika enliven this easy weeknight dish

Jennifer Fiedler
Posted: December 16, 2013

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the "8 & 20" wine and food matchmaking column.

• 4 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon, thinly sliced into lardons
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 leek, sliced, white and light green parts only
• 3 stalks celery, sliced
• 1/2 cup white wine (whatever you’re drinking will work best)
• 2 pounds small clams, such as littlenecks, washed (around 5 to 7 per person)
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1. In a medium-sized stockpot, bring salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cubed potatoes and cook until soft, around 20 minutes. Reserve both the water and the potatoes.

2. In a medium-sized stockpot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Maintain the heat and add one tablespoon of butter to the pot. When the butter melts, add the leek and celery and cook until softened and just beginning to brown. Add the second tablespoon of butter and the potatoes to the pot and continue to cook until just browned.

3. Add the wine to the pot and bring the wine to a boil. When the wine has reduced by half, add 2 cups of the potato water and the clams. Cover the pot and cook until the clams have opened, around 5 to 7 minutes. Divide the clams among four bowls, discarding any that haven’t opened, then divide the crisped bacon among the bowls as well.

4. Add the heavy cream and the paprika to the pot with the potatoes and leeks and cook until the heavy cream almost boils, then divide the broth and vegetable mixture in the serving bowls with the clams. Serves 4.

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