Amazing Clam Chow-dah

Clam Chowder

It wouldn’t be a cookbook about New England without a recipe for Clam Chowder.

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings


  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups bottled clam juice, divided
  • 1 pound chopped fresh clam meat, with juices (see Note)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light cream
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper


Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pot, and crumble into small pieces; set aside.

Add the butter, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Return the bacon to the pot and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the potatoes.

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Turning back to the onion/bacon mixture, increase the heat to medium-low.

Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until a thick paste forms. Stir and cook 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the bottled clam juice, 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes and clam meat with its juices. Keep stirring 5 minutes, until the clams are tender.

Add the cream slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot. 

Additional Notes:

Many supermarkets carry frozen, chopped clam meat in 1-pound containers, which is fresher than canned and just as convenient. Simply defrost before using.

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