We had heard about Boudin Bakery while we were still in Belgium, so we knew a clam chowder bread bowl recipe was in our future when we moved to California. It’s been one of the more prevalent recommendations we’ve received about San Francisco. So, we were pretty excited to give it a try and see what all this sourdough snobbery was all about. And then we found out and went home with three one-pound rolls. This recipe was really just a means for us to eat an entire sourdough roll from Boudin, but the chowder was so delicious, we might have it again tonight after writing this post.
Also, the bread, cubed and mixed with a little olive oil and seasonings of your choice, makes for excellent croutons. Bake them til they’re just crispy enough…don’t burn them like I did. Valuable tips from professionals.
Also also, this is worth noting. Of all the times people have brought up Boudin, two pronunciations were always given. Listen, guys. We spent two years not knowing the proper pronunciations for words – another tiny country side effect. We’re back in America where our inflections aren’t far apart from sea to shining sea. Let’s just figure it out. So, anyway, we asked. And the check-out guy tells us – boe-dean. “It’s french!” Judgy side-eye looks between this Cajun French gal and my semi-Belgian French husband as we gave up and left to go experiment in our kitchen.
If you post photos from this clam chowder bread bowl recipe – work in progress, masterpiece, or anything in between, I’d love to give it some love. Tag me with @montgomeryfest!
- Two dozen medium clams
- 4-5 medium red potatoes, cubed
- 4-5 strips bacon, chopped
- 2 leeks, tops removed, halved and sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups cream
- 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb sourdough rounds (1 per person)
- Combine clams with 4 cups water in a large pot and bring to a low boil. Cook for 10-20 minutes until clams open up, discard any that fail to open.
- Remove clams from shells and set aside.
- Pour the broth through a sieve to catch any remaining sand and set aside.
- Return the pot to the burner (after rinsing) and add butter and chopped bacon. Cook on a medium heat until the bacon has browned and the fat has rendered, then remove bacon and set aside.
- In the bacon goodness and butter add in leaks until they are softened (10-15 minutes).
- Add in potatoes and wine and cook until wine has evaporated.
- Add just enough clam broth to cover the potatoes (you will have some remaining, or can adjust the consistency of the chowder by adding more later), along with thyme and the bay leaf.
- Let simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Chop clams to a consistency similar to the bacon, and add clams, bacon and cream to the pot, salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the chowder to a simmer and then remove from heat and fish out the bay leaf.
- Allow to cool to room temperature to cure (or let rest in fridge), then reheat before serving.
- Cut a circle in the top of your sourdough rounds and scoop out bread to form a bowl for serving.
- Ladle in chowder and garnish with parsley.
- We didn't, but if you want to add some thickness to your chowder mash some of the potatoes in the pot just after they've cooked a bit.