Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed 2 garlic cloves, peeled 2 small shallots, peeled 2 thyme sprigs 2 bay leaves 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 cups heavy cream 2 celery stalks, sliced 6 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced 1 carrot, very thinly sliced 1/2 cup turnip, very thinly sliced 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, minced Salt and white pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Using a sieve, lower carrots into water and blanch for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove carrots from water and run under cold water to stop cooking process. Set carrots aside. Repeat process with turnips. Set aside. Repeat blanching process with celery. Set celery aside. Discard water.
In a saucepan cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until just tender; drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan combine clams with garlic, shallot, thyme, bay leaf and white wine. Cover pan and bring to a boil, shaking pan periodically. Remove clams from pan as soon as they open. Remove clams from shells and set aside.
Strain cooking liquid into a saucepan and reduce to 1/2 cup. Add heavy cream and reduce sauce slowly to about 1 cup.
Add reserved carrots, turnips, celery, potatoes and clams to cream sauce. Stir to blend. Add Italian parsley and stir to blend. Season to taste with kosher salt and white pepper.
Reheat clam chowder over low heat, stirring frequently. Serve.
This clam chowder is extraordinary but very, very rich. It is best served as a first course and served only in small portions.