By KAREN HART
According to Ina Garten, the biggest problems in most clam chowders are improper seasoning and ingredients that are too finely diced. In her opinion, clam chowder should be more like a stew, so sautee onions for base flavor and medium dice the veggies for a chunkier consistency.
Garten’s one simple rule while making clam chowder is to always use fresh clams and clam juice. Bottled clam juice is fine, she says, but it just won’t give the same flavor, and she also says it’s best to add the clams towards the end to avoid them becoming too tough and chewy.
Many home cooks agree, and some have offered some helpful tips of their own. One user on Chowhound suggests smaller clams to avoid a rubbery taste, while Serious Eats recommends clams from the cherrystone or littleneck variety for a tender bite.