Executive Chef Gerard (Gerry) Tice
Omni Parker House
New England clam chowder’s history in Boston began even before the Parker House hotel opened its doors in 1855. Chef Tice relays the story of Cape Cod author Joseph C. Lincoln, who once said it [the soup] “is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the National Anthem. It is Yankee Doodle in a kettle.” Unlike clam chowders prepared in Manhattan or Rhode Island, which are tomato-or clam broth-based respectively, Boston prepares its chowder with cream. At the Omni Parker House, 40-60 gallons of New England clam chowder are made each week, always accompanied with oyster crackers and offered in each of the property’s dining outlets year-round.
¼ lb. bacon, cut into lardons
1½ tbsp. butter
1 large onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 potatoes, cooked and diced into ½-in. pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ tsp. white pepper
26 oz. minced clams, in juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2½ tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
¾ tsp. salt
1. In large, heavy saucepan, cook bacon lardons until crispy. Remove crispy bacon and set aside, leaving bacon fat in pan.
2. Add butter to saucepan with bacon fat and melt over medium heat. Add onions and celery; saute about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pepper; cook 10 minutes longeruntil soft.
3. Slowly stir in flour to incorporate and ensure no lumping occurs; cook 5 minutes.
4. Strain minced clams; separately reserve both clams and their liquid. Stir reserved clam juice and Worcestershire sauce into mixture in saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
5. Stir in half-and-half and heavy cream; simmer 10 minutes longer. Add reserved minced clams and bacon; heat through. Serve warm with oyster crackers.