New England Clam Chowder with Dill Drop Biscuits

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  • 4 cups small dice white onions
  • 4 cups small dice celery
  • 4 cups small dice red potatoes (cooked)
  • 2 cups small dice bacon (raw)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1⁄2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 quarts clam juice
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 3 pounds chopped clams (fresh if available)
  • adjust seasoning to taste
  • Dill Drop Biscuits
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup shortening
  • 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Egg wash or melted butter

“I purchase the biggest chopped clams I can get, even though they cost more than minced ones. But they’re the star of the dish, and the flavor and texture they bring to the chowder make them worth the extra expense. And to get the full flavor of the bacon without having it overpower the more delicate flavors of the other ingredients, I fry it up separately until it gets crispy before I sauté it with the onions, celery, and potato.” — Michael Dunn, Chef/Partner of Yankee Pier Lafayette

Yield: 12 servings

  1. Cook the bacon at a low temperature in a heavy-bottom pot. When the bacon is crispy, remove and drain the grease.
  2. In a stockpot, cook the onions, celery, red potatoes, and bacon with the butter. Cook until the vegetables start to get tender, then add flour. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the flour and butter are incorporated.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, combine the milk and clam juice and bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly add the milk–clam juice mixture to the vegetable pot in four intervals. Make sure the soup thickens with each addition, and continue to add the cream mixture until finished.
  5. Add the thyme, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and chopped clams. Let the soup cook for 30 more minutes to make sure the roux is fully cooked out.
  6. Serve immediately, or cool and store in refrigerator for serving later. Serve with Dill Drop Biscuits.

Dill Drop Biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening until the mix resembles coarse meal.
  4. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, sour cream, dill, and black pepper.
  5. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix till just moistened.
  6. Using a teaspoon, drop the batter onto a buttered sheet pan. Brush with the egg wash or melted butter, and bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and cook for 4 more minutes.

Submitted by Michael Dunn, Chef/Partner of Yankee Pier Lafayette, San Francisco