Baked Clams with Bacon and Garlic

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In this ultimate version of baked clams, chef Daniel Humm includes chopped clams in the filling, doubling down on briny clam flavor. Bacon, parsley, lemon and a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese add a savory, herby kick. Slideshow: More Clam Recipes 

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Photo: Marcus Nilsson
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Yield:
24

Ingredients

CLAMS:

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed

FILLING:

  • 2 thin slices of bacon (1 ounce), finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 medium shallot, very finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 2 shucked surf clams, mantles discarded and clams finely chopped, or 4 ounces shucked littleneck clams, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh brioche breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

TOPPING:

  • 1/4 cup fresh brioche breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped parsley

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Kosher salt

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Prepare the clams In a large saucepan, combine the wine, garlic, shallot, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the clams, cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a large baking sheet; discard the cooking liquid. Let the clams cool slightly, then split the shells in half and transfer the clam meat to a small bowl. Clean 24 of the shell halves and arrange on the baking sheet; discard the remaining shells.

  2. Make the filling In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and just crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, garlic and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook until reduced to a thin glaze, about 4 minutes. Stir in the shucked clams, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and salt. Let cool slightly.

  3. Make the topping In a medium bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the parsley, lemon zest and cheese. Season lightly with salt.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put 1 clam in each half shell. Top the clams with the filling and the topping. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and the tops are golden. Serve with lemon wedges.

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