Though I am not Portuguese, influences from the Portuguese ways of cooking run through our family recipes. I grew up in an area in New England that has a large demographic of Portuguese people from the Azores islands. I also have Aunts, Uncles and cousins who are Portuguese. I have always loved to cook and as a child and well into my teens, these family members shared with me their Portuguese family recipes and I have prepared them in that fashion (as closely as I can) ever since. This Portuguese Style Clams with Sausage is one of my favorites. I had the pleasure of having this on date night (I majorly surprised to see a Portuguese dish on the menu.) recently which made me think I needed to share this delicious recipe with you!
Be sure to serve this dish with slices of toasted baguette drizzled with extra virgin Olive oil. The broth is so flavorful and delicious; you will want to get every last drop.
- 5 lbs (about 4 dozen) littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed well
- 1/2 pound chorizo—peeled, cut into 1/2 inch rounds and quartered
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and 2 minced
- 1/2 cup Portuguese Madeira Wine, or similar
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 4-ounces of sweet piquanté peppers, like peppadew peppers, rough chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1 loaf baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- extra-virgin olive oil for brushing bread slices
- garnish with extra parsley and lemon slices
- Preheat the oven on broil.
- Put the chorizo in a large skillet fitted with a tight fitting lid and brown, about 5 minutes.
- While the chorizo is browning, lightly brush the bread with olive oil and toast for about 7-10 minutes, until golden brown along the edges.
- Once the chorizo is brown, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the minced garlic and cook over low heat until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping the tiny bits of sausage from the bottom of the pan. Add the piquanté peppers, chicken stock, and the clams to the pan. Cover and cook over high heat until the clams have opened, about 10 minutes.
- Discard any unopened clams.
- Garnish with some reserved parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Serve with toasted baguettes for soaking up that delicious broth!
Chorizo is a semi-spicy, cured sausage. It gets its red coloration from paprika. The mild Portuguese sausage is called Linguica and is also red from paprika but is not spicy. These sausages can be difficult to find outside of small regions but are carried in Publix grocery stores by the smoked sausages. I good substitution for Chorizo and Linguica would be Andouille Sausage. Another substitution might be Smoked Sausage but you will lose some of the flavor.
If you do not care for wine, you may omit it and increase the chicken stock or add 1/2 cup of apple juice but again, there will be a flavor loss in swapping out the wine for one of those ingredients.