— Adapted from Jasper White’s “50 Chowders”
1 geoduck (2 to 3 pounds)
4 ounces slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
3 ounces diced celery root
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
3 to 4 cups canned clam juice
2 cups heavy cream
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ pound fresh chanterelles, cleaned and thinly sliced
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
Toasted common crackers*
1. Working over a bowl to catch the liquid, cut the geoduck out of its shell with a sharp knife. Cut out the soft belly and discard. Cut the siphon and body apart, and cut the body into ½-inch dice. Weigh the body meat. Cut the siphon into half-inch slices, slicing only enough to make a total of 12 ounces siphon and body meat.
Use the remainder of the siphon for sashimi. Place the thickly sliced siphon meat in a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Put all the geoduck meat in the refrigerator while you continue the recipe. Strain the geoduck liquid into a 1-quart measuring cup. Add enough clam juice to total 4 cups of liquid and set aside.
2. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add the 4 tablespoons butter, onion, celery root, thyme and bay leaves, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes and the clam juice mixture and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and just beginning to break up, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the cream and reserved geoduck meat to the pot, season with pepper, and take it off the heat to rest for up to an hour. If you’re not serving the chowder within an hour, cool it to room temperature and put it in the refrigerator for up to two days.
5. Reheat the chowder over low heat. While it’s heating, prepare the chanterelle garnish. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Sauté the chanterelles, sprinkling with salt, until they’ve browned, about five minutes.
6. Serve the chowder in heated bowls, garnished with the chanterelles, parsley, chives and toasted common crackers.
* Common crackers are available from www.vermontcountrystore.com. To toast them, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Split the crackers, brush with melted butter, and bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.