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Clam Chowder, New England Style

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Ordering New England Style Clam Chowder at a restaurant is an irresistible temptation for me. I always have to try it because everyone makes it a little different. My most common complaint is the lack of clams in many restaurant clam chowders, so I prepare my own whenever I have some extra cream on hand. My recipe balances the generous portion of clams with a satisfying amount of potatoes and clam juice to provide a briny flavor to this cream-based chowder. Steamed fresh clams can replace the canned clams if you have time or want to bring this recipe to the next level.

There are countless varieties of clam chowder - the most popular of which are called New England Style and Manhattan Style. The label New England Style has come to mean that the chowder has a cream or dairy base while Manhattan Style refers to a tomato base. A brief Google search reveals that the terms Maine style (heavy cream), Rhode Island style (light cream / soupy), Oregon style (extremely thick), Yorktown style (containing beer or ale), and Southern style (more vegetables and spices with some Worcestershire sauce) are also used - but I have yet to see them served in a restaurant. Of course, some restaurants' New England Style clam chowders seem to fit the description of Oregon or Rhode Island style.

Classic New England Style Clam Chowder begins with salt pork, but since I live in California, I've started with the West Coast classic: bacon (this time in the form of bacon grease). But first, let's take a look at what other ingredients we'll need.

Begin with one pound of diced russet potatoes (about one large potato) and 1/2 cup onion (about 1/2 medium onion). You'll also need a tablespoon of all-purpose flour and two tablespoons of bacon grease.

Drain the clams from two 10-ounce cans of clams (preferably canned in water, salt water, or broth - not oil). After draining, both cans should yield about a total of 10 ounces of clam meat. Also, prepare 8 ounces of clam juice. The flavor is better if you use bottled clam juice instead of the liquid the clams are packaged in, but if clam juice is unavailable, reserve 8 ounces of the liquid from the cans.

Heat two tablespoons of bacon grease and saute the onions in the hot grease until translucent, but not browned. Bacon grease can be collected and stored after you cook bacon. If you don't have any bacon grease in your refrigerator, go ahead and cook about four slices of bacon in the pan and remove the bacon and any excess bacon grease (remember to store it for future use) before sauteing the onions.

Add the diced potatoes and saute until all the potato has been coated by the fat. Throw in the tablespoon of flour and saute until the potatoes and onions have been coated.

Pour in the cup of clam juice and bring to a boil while stirring. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat so it just simmers with the lid on. Cook with the lid on for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Prepare a mixture of one cup whole milk and one cup heavy cream. Half-and-half will also work as long as it's on the creamier side - if not, augmentation with some heavy cream may be necessary. The amount of fat is important for the texture of the chowder. Using only milk will result in a slightly thickened (due to the potato starch) watery consistency. Using only heavy cream will result in a really smooth, but much too rich chowder. The milk and cream mixture results in a cream fat concentration around 20%, producing what I think is the perfect consistency when served hot or warm. Using combinations of milk and cream to achieve this fat ratio helps us get to our desired consistency target. For example, some light whipping cream (about 18-30% fat content) has a fat content as low as 18%, so using straight light whipping cream of this type will provide us the desired amount of fat.

Once the potato, onion, and clam juice mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, stir to redistribute the solids.

Add the drained clams, milk, and cream.

Stir and heat through until hot, but not boiling. (Boiling may cause some of the milks solids to clump - but with 20% fat concentration this is less of a problem than if we were using straight milk. At around 30% or more fat, there is enough fat to prevent the clumping of the milk solids even while boiling.) While heating, this is right time to season with salt and pepper. Add salt a pinch at a time, stir, and taste. Repeat until you get the desired saltiness. It is important not to forget to add the salt and pepper - even though we have a lot of flavors in the chowder at this point, they will be muted without adding enough salt.

Serve while hot. I like garnishing with a bit of fresh chopped parsley and some bacon pieces.

New England Style Clam Chowder (serves 6)
2 Tbs. bacon greasesaute 1 min.saute 1 min.stir insimmer covered 20 min.heat through without boilingseason to taste
1/2 cup (80 g) chopped onion
1 lb. (450 g) russet potatoespeel and dice
1 Tbs. (8 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (235 mL) clam juice
1 cup (235 mL) whole milk
1 cup (235 mL) heavy cream
2 10-oz. (283 g) cans whole clams
Salt and pepper

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Written by Michael Chu
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139 comments on Clam Chowder, New England Style:(Post a comment)

On May 27, 2005 at 02:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Manhattan is NOT part of New England...many New Yorkers would be upset by that characterization (to say nothing of New Englanders...)!

On May 27, 2005 at 03:25 PM, SmartGuy (guest) said...
Subject: Manhattan
Manhattan IS part of New England. New York east of the Hudson is considered New Egland. Not state lines. BTW, recipe looks great. Will give it a try.

On May 27, 2005 at 10:22 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Manhattan != NE
Sorry, but I've never heard of "east of Hudson = New England, and I grew up in NY state, east of the Hudson. New England is the region of the US east of New York.

On May 27, 2005 at 11:36 PM, Michael Chu said...
Hmmm... it seems that most sources consider Manhattan/New York City as not part of New England. I'm going to make a modification to my article.

On May 28, 2005 at 09:58 AM, utter_desolation (guest) said...
Subject: Roux first, then the rest!
No, no no no no! you always begin with the roux, then the cream, then add the additional ingredients! This is a common mistake found in cooking books all over the place. Try doing it this way:[list=1:05058e600e]
  • Do all the prep and set it aside
  • Heat up the roux in the pot you're going to cook the soup in
  • Add the desired dairy, and/or water
  • add the prepared ingredients
  • add the spices[/list:o:05058e600e]

  • On May 28, 2005 at 02:49 PM, Michael Chu said...
    Subject: Roux first?
    Well, the roux first method does work well, but I can't taste the difference in clam chowder (as opposed to, let's say, gumbo where the roux reaches a brick color). Not producing real roux makes this recipe easy to do in one pot. In the roux first method, the potatoes can't easily be cooked in the bechamel without causing the dairy to clump - too much heat for too long. So, you cook the potatoes separate. But then what you end up with is:

    1. Precook potatoes in water, drain.
    2. Lightly saute onions in grease, remove from pot.
    3. Add flour to grease to form roux, cook.
    4. Add cream/milk and clam juice and bring to simmer
    5. Add precooked potatoes, onions, and clams
    6. Heat through, season, serve.

    Simple enough, but cooking the potatoes and onions separate is just an unnecessary step and uses multiple pots (unless you are cooking the chowder in your potato boiling pot -- which means an extra rinsing step and you'll be using a much larger pot for the chowder).

    However, it should be mentioned that if you are using pure heavy cream, you can probably cook the potatoes in that without worrying about curds forming because of the higher fat content. The only problem I have with that, is that it's a bit too rich for me.

    On May 29, 2005 at 05:19 PM, BenFrantzDale (guest) said...
    Subject: New England
    For what it's worth, the Wikipedia article on New England mentions that the "East of the Hudson" distinction is antiquated and/or rarely used.

    On May 30, 2005 at 12:53 PM, Aileen said...
    My family LOVES New England Clam Chowder! If we are out to dinner on a Friday night, that's the one thing we will all agree on ordering! The "ideal" is a soup that's thick enough, but not too thick...Your recipe sounds easy enough to want to try. I agree, ease of preparation is key, especially when busy enough with work, school, and kid chauffeuring hither and yon. :?

    Too busy with the kid's basketball tournament in LA this weekend, but I will definitely give this recipe a try soon!

    Thanks, Michael! :)

    On May 30, 2005 at 05:43 PM, BlackGriffen (guest) said...
    Subject: Sweat vs. Saute
    When you don't want the onions and whatnot to brown aren't you dealing with a sweat and not a saute?


    On May 30, 2005 at 09:30 PM, crcarlson (guest) said...
    Subject: Serving size
    Hi Michael,

    I really enjoy the site, thanks for taking the time to share.

    Have you considered putting the approximate number of servings on your recipes? I am having a tough time figureing out how many people could be served with one batch of chowda.


    On May 31, 2005 at 01:41 PM, Michael Chu said...
    BlackGriffen wrote:
    When you don't want the onions and whatnot to brown aren't you dealing with a sweat and not a saute?

    Yes and no. A sweat is always performed over low heat with the intention of cooking the substance in their own juices (that will flow out and collect as they heat). Often, you'll press foil down onto the ingredients to help retain the moisture as they heat. Sometimes, the term sweat is used loosely for whenever you wish to heat aromatics without browning, but in reality - it's often just a quick saute that's performed. Generally, I consider that if juices collect, then it's sweating - if it's still relatively dry, you're sauteing.

    In this recipe, we're cooking the onions just a bit to soften them up for their soak in the clam juice where they will liquify. We're not actually trying to sweat them out in this recipe.

    crcarlson wrote:
    Have you considered putting the approximate number of servings on your recipes? I am having a tough time figureing out how many people could be served with one batch of chowda.

    Sorry, I forgot! I've added the servings for this dish: serves 6.

    On June 01, 2005 at 12:05 AM, Sarah (guest) said...
    Subject: Roux first theory
    It seems to me that cooking the roux with the potatoes is equivalent to the "roux first" method, because the purpose of cooking the roux first is met, namely, you are incorporating the flour with the fat first, before liquids are added. If you toss the potatoes coated with flour around in butter or bacon grease, you also cook the flour to some degree. (Cooking it longer in this state "toasts" the flour and should give a browner roux.)

    When the liquid is finally added, the sauce will not be lumpy or taste like raw flour. For some reason, if you can actually get the flour to mix directly with a water-based liquid, it still never really toasts up and tastes right.

    The important criteria that are behind the "roux first" rule are met, as long as the potatoes aren't too watery, so I would vote to keep the recipe as it stands.

    On June 04, 2005 at 07:01 AM, webmaster (guest) said...
    Subject: Great recipes!
    I am getting so hungry by reading all this recipes.

    On June 07, 2005 at 06:56 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    I really like the chart that yo have at the end as a summary for the recipe. Will you always do this when you present a recipe?

    On August 15, 2005 at 01:18 PM, toe (guest) said...
    Subject: roux first
    A slight drawback with the roux first process is the thickening ability of the flour. Flour thickens the liquid when it reaches a boil. If you are adding the cream/milk mixture to the roux, you probably don't want to boil in case anything splits. You'd have to add the clam juice,boil to get the thickening, then add the cream/milk. Other possibilites include using arrowroot as a thickener, which will thicken at a lower temperature.

    On September 23, 2005 at 03:35 PM, EricFoster (guest) said...
    Subject: Why Fridays?
    Does anyone know why clam chowder is always served on Fridays? I imagine its probably a lent thing, but the practice is rather widespread so I was hoping someone out there might have another explanation.

    Sometimes I wish could get a bowl of clam chowder on Tuesday.

    On September 24, 2005 at 09:09 AM, Michael (guest) said...
    Subject: sour cream
    thoughts on adding sour cream to clam chowder to replace some of the regular cream - i really enjoy the tangy flavor that it adds to the soup!

    On September 26, 2005 at 05:43 PM, KC (guest) said...
    Subject: Fresh Clams?
    This is definately a "must try"!!! I just need to figure out the quantity of fresh clams to use for this chowder. I'll add a comment when I get around to that this weekend.

    On September 28, 2005 at 10:42 PM, mookle (guest) said...
    Subject: two things
    I have always thought of the differences between Manhattan style and New England style to revolve around the kind of soup base. Manhattan style is usually seen with a tomato base and no cream, thus creating a kind of vegetable soup with clams. The Rhode Island clam chowder recipe I have from James Beard/Fannie Farmer involves both a fifty-fifty mix of cream and milk and also tomatoes.

    I think the reason chowder is usually served on Fridays comes from an old Roman Catholic tradition of having only fish on Fridays. Many RCs were poor (long ago) and to help out the starving masses, there was a papal decree that only fish and seafood should be served on Fridays because of its low price and freshness. This ended long ago, but the tradition still remains, as seen in some older practitioners and on our menus.

    On November 12, 2005 at 07:22 PM, paul (guest) said...
    Subject: thickness
    This is the first time I've tried one of your recipes (I just started getting into cooking for myself in university, so sorry if the Q is dumb), and it turned out fairly well. One thing was that mine didn't seem to be very thick (compared to your pic.) even though I added extra flour. How do you control the thickness? Also, there was some sand from the canned clams... Was I supposed to strain or something?

    On November 14, 2005 at 06:12 PM, Michael Chu said...
    Subject: Re: thickness
    paul wrote:
    This is the first time I've tried one of your recipes (I just started getting into cooking for myself in university, so sorry if the Q is dumb), and it turned out fairly well. One thing was that mine didn't seem to be very thick (compared to your pic.) even though I added extra flour. How do you control the thickness? Also, there was some sand from the canned clams... Was I supposed to strain or something?

    A lot of factors come into play to control thickness. Increasing the flour will help, but to ensure that their is no raw flour taste, I would probably recommend cooking the flour in butter first to form a roux. Witht he small amounts of flour we used in this recipe, the cooking stage with the potatoes was enough to cook the flour, but with more flour, it's probably better safe than sorry. Don't overcook the roux because as it gains flavor it will lose thickening power.

    Next, make sure you use starchy potatoes like russets. Add them to the pot after ocoking without additional rinsing that that will ensure that all the potato starch gets into the chowder.

    After simmering the potatoes in clam juice, you can check to see how much liquid is left in the pot. If it's quite a bit, just continue to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. This will produce a thicker chowder as well.

    Using only heavy cream will also make a thicker soup.

    How these tips will help you achieve the thickness that you're looking for.

    On November 17, 2005 at 06:25 PM, paul (guest) said...
    Thanks for the advice! I tried doing the roux first and it turned out perfectly.

    keep up the great site....

    On December 26, 2005 at 06:14 PM, Paul Y (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Chowder On Fridays
    Clam Chowder and Fish are generally served on Fridays due to the teachings of the church regarding the bible.

    Restaurants serve these items so that they can draw in this crowd who would normally not eat meat, cloven-hoofed animals to be more precise.

    I couldn't say one way or the other how strict this 'rule' is followed these days.

    On December 31, 2005 at 05:15 PM, LittleJohn (guest) said...
    Subject: ROUX?!?!?!?!?
    All this debate about how to prepare the roux is silly - New England clam chowder should NOT be thickened with roux. Roux thickening is an ill-advised "innovation" introduced in the 1950s and popularized by HoJo's. Truly traditional chowder (at least since potatoes replaced pounded seabiscuit ~150 years ago) is thickened by simmering the potatoes until they contribute some starchiness. It is also thinner (I would say less glue-like) than what you get at most restaurants these days.

    I actually prefer canned chopped (not minced) sea clams to whole canned clams, but I'll take quahogs in the shell over any of the above. If you heat the milk gently (just until warm) before you add it to the chowder, it won't separate.

    In other news, Yukon Golds make great chowder potatoes.

    On January 15, 2006 at 05:51 PM, justkeepitsimple (guest) said...
    Subject: clam chowder
    Who cares what part of New York is considered New England or not, just give me some clam chowder.

    On February 08, 2006 at 06:20 PM, JimboGeog (guest) said...
    Subject: New England
    New England includes the regions of the Atlantic Northeast and part of Megalopolis and French Canada. The rural areas of NY state are partly in New England. NY state is also included in the Appalachian region and arguably others as well.

    On February 24, 2006 at 05:35 PM, Denise (guest) said...
    Subject: Addicted to Clam Chowder
    Oddly enough, I first tried the "New England Clam Chowder" in a San Francisco restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf.
    Got hopelessly addicted to it - and "hopeless" is not a figure of speech here. I live in Brazil, but usally come on business to Sunnyvale, California, only once or twice a year.
    Thank you sooooooooo much for the fantastic recipe you've shared (the best I found in the Web), so I don't have to spent 50 weeks of the year whining and yearning for this delicious chowder. Gonna make it at home and will probably live on it from now on. :D

    On March 05, 2006 at 02:22 AM, an anonymous reader said...
    Where's the saltpork? or at least, bacon?

    On March 05, 2006 at 03:32 AM, Michael Chu said...
    Anonymous wrote:
    Where's the saltpork? or at least, bacon?

    I start with bacon grease for flavor and end with a sprinkle of bacon pieces when I serve.

    On March 05, 2006 at 04:21 PM, dhanes (guest) said...
    Subject: Southern Chowder
    Gung Hay Fat Choy!

    Nei Ho Ma?

    Nice article Michael.

    I've been looking for a southern-bahamas style clam chowder, will share if I come across anything worthwhile, do you have any recipes for this?


    On March 07, 2006 at 12:34 PM, Nan (guest) said...
    Subject: fish on Fridays
    This site appeals to me because my software engineer son in Austin cooks like you do. Before he made cookies at Christmas, he power-cleaned my KitchenAid until it looked brand-new. As a Catholic, I must chime in to refute the nonsense posted about why we eat fish on Fridays. The real reason, which goes back centuries, is to make a penance on the day Christ was crucified - Friday. Giving up the usual meat dinner leaves the family with the alternative of fasting (eating less than usual - giving up something good as compensation for our sins) or eating something else in place of meat ( chicken and broths made from meat or chicken are also out). Fish is an obvious non-meat choice. The fact that the Christian symbol from 2 millenia back is a stylized fish may indicate this penance has been going on for that long. Incidentally, this prohibition against meat on all Fridays is still in effect though in the past few decades the choice to eat meat and make another sort of penance on Fridays is possible. Practicing Catholics must still abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent. Thanks for your efforts at exactitude. Nan

    On July 18, 2006 at 10:40 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    Saying that sort of thing in Boston is a good way to start a pub fight.

    On November 03, 2006 at 12:24 PM, guest (guest) said...
    Subject: Quizno's Clam Chowder
    Upto about a year ago, Quiznos (the franchised sandwich shop) used to serve NE Clam chowder that was FANTASTIC. This was the only reason why I would visit the store for lunch, as the sandwiches were small and overpriced. Unfortunately, they stopped carrying the chowder but if anyone remembers the it like I did, please comment.

    On November 18, 2006 at 11:43 AM, an anonymous reader said...
    Subject: Quiznos' chowder
    They're serving it again, in Utah at least, I second your comment. I used to eat there at least once a week. Finally the manager asked if I would Like a whole bag of it to take home, about a half gallon,10 bucks a bag.
    I'm celebrating!

    On November 20, 2006 at 07:11 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    My ten year old daughter and I just finished making the chowder. We made it for the soup course at our Thanksgiving dinner. We are allowing a few days for the flavors to blend together. But even though it hasn't had time for the flavors to blend , we both agreed that it was of the best chowders we have ever tasted. Thanks so much for the outstanding recipe and making cooking easy for a dad to do!

    On November 21, 2006 at 06:39 PM, sharpeink (guest) said...
    Subject: Chowder
    Look I see it's been awhile since the last posting. After reading some of the comments I think people don't get it! This recipe is not about geographic location it's not about you, it's about sharing an idea of some ingredients that if perfected in your on way, can make some people really glad they had the time to share your meal! As with this site and as with you all, thank you for sharing even if it wasn't warrented. Silly people! Love the world hate your self! Go make some chowder and let us all know how it turned out!! Long Island N.Y. ;)

    On November 26, 2006 at 03:02 AM, R (guest) said...
    Subject: Chowder
    I just used your recipe but was forced to make a modification which was a wonderful addition...I planned to make a double batch here at work and found out that our stock pot was missing. I had to split the batch and use a regular sauce pan. I took half of my batch and put it in a blender (before adding clams) and puree'd it. After the second batch was ready, I combined the puree with the regular batch and mixed well, adding the clams at the last....It was great. very creamy and tasty too...
    Thanks for the recipe. All the best. R

    On January 19, 2007 at 03:55 PM, AaronTraas said...
    Does anyone know why clam chowder is always served on Fridays? I imagine its probably a lent thing, but the practice is rather widespread so I was hoping someone out there might have another explanation.

    The Catholic Church, as well as most of the various Orthodox Christian churches, still have prohibitions regarding meat on Fridays, as a sacrifice symbolic of that on Good Friday. Western Catholic tradition holds that its members from ages of at least 14-65 should abstain from eating "flesh or fowl" on Fridays. The Greek Orthodox church, if I recall correctly, asks its members to abstain from eating vertebrates.

    This is for Fridays year round, not just in Lent.

    Different conferences of bishops may redefine the specifics of the fast. For instance, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops decreed in the 50's that Catholics in the US must abstain from meat, or make some other penitential act.

    Thus, few actually follow this directive today, but the custom still stands. The cafeteria at my workplace offers seafood dishes typically on Friday only.

    On January 27, 2007 at 04:39 PM, Chuck (guest) said...
    Subject: Lower fat clam chowder
    If you don't want all that saturated fat in the cream, grab some diced potatoes and give them a ride in the blender with some milk. Makes the chowder nice and thick, but less fat. You could add a [u:9d290b32fd]little[/u:9d290b32fd] cream or half & half to round it out.

    On April 14, 2007 at 04:53 PM, Ramoth (guest) said...
    Subject: Rouix...
    You know? Who ever heard of using a rouix in a classic new england chowder anyway?

    I hail from Maine, where the chowder is what keeps us going all winter long, and I must say cookbooks ALWAYS get maine chodwer wrong!

    For the best results, boil your claims seperately, then shuck and clean them....

    After, you use heavy cream and Maine Round White potatoes (Or california long whites if you can't get maine whites). The white potatoes are also called All-Purpose potatoes. They have a medium startch content.

    Add your diced onions and taters (peeled or not, you're choice, I prefer them dirty) to the heavy cream, and some sugar to taste. (Yep, I said sugar). You don't want to bring this to a boil, instead it takes some active time to keep the temperature around 190 Degrees F.

    It takes about an hour to simmer, at about 45 minutes, the cream will be quite thick, and the potatoes nearly done. So, add in your clams and then use the clam juice to thin out the cream.

    In liue of Salt pork, we actually tend to use Bacon. You cut up as much bacon as you want in your chowder and let it cook with the potatoes etc.

    Anyway, this is why resturaunt chowder sucks so much south of Maine....if you want the best chowder, make it yourself. Most resturaunts start with either canned clams or canned chowder, which tastes horribly bland.

    You can then garnish it with cracked or freshly ground pepper corn, and a few sprigs of parsely.

    On July 28, 2007 at 12:46 AM, veritas (guest) said...
    Subject: new england clam chowder
    This might be rather late in coming, but I just wanted to tell you that I made this chowder this afternoon and it was an instant hit with this Pacific Northwest beach community! Even the 6 year old and the 3 year old kids were hosing it down, and they'd never eaten clam chowder before.

    While walking the dogs on the beach this morning at low tide I saw a few holes in the sand and started digging...came up with 8 rather large butter clams and took it from there. The only thing I did differently from the recipie was rendering actual bacon for the fat content and leaving it in the chowder.

    MMM, MMM GOOD! Thanks for coming up with a great recipie! You have "Cooking Alaskan", "New York Times Cookbook", and "Joy of Cooking" chowder recipies beat all to heck.

    Veritas on Salmon Beach, Washington

    On July 28, 2007 at 01:07 AM, veritas (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder
    And I forgot to mention in my previous post that I was born and bred in New England, so I ain't just talking out my *** about how good this quick and tasty chowder is :)

    Thanks again,

    Veritas in Salmon Beach, Washington

    On December 04, 2007 at 10:41 PM, Sheryl (guest) said...
    Subject: Wow
    Just found your site by accident and what an incredible accident it was!! Love the whole concept here and by golly the recipes work - they are very tasty. Its a very enjoyable read; both recipe and comments.

    I will be back again soon for more great adventures into the land of cooking!

    On December 08, 2007 at 04:43 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    I've found that slightly sauteing the clams in the bacon grease makes them much more tender. Just saute them, and pull them out to drain.... continue as this recipe goes. YUM!

    On December 21, 2007 at 05:25 PM, Patty (guest) said...
    I've made chowder many times in my life and I would make it a little different each time because I was trying to find the perfect recipe. I was never completely satisfied with the results. This recipe, however, is absolutely delicious. Everyone who ate it after I made it shares my opinion. I think that the key to this recipe is using bacon grease and saving the bacon bits for garnishing. Previously, I would brown the bacon and then put both the bacon and grease into my chowder. The amount of bacon I used took away the taste of the clams. I highly recommend this recipe because you can feel confident that it will turn out tasty! For me, this recipe is a keeper.

    On December 22, 2007 at 02:03 AM, YoKitty said...
    I think you're right, Patty. Cooking the bacon in the soup would tend to overwhelm the clams. Besides, you'd lose the contrasting texture that comes from the crispy bacon.

    On December 22, 2007 at 06:32 AM, Tati (guest) said...
    I absoloutely LOVE clam chowder, and this recipe looks greatttt... i just got all the ingredients and i can't wait to try it!

    Thanks for the great site... it's one of the best i've found, congrats on the great work.keep it up :)

    On December 30, 2007 at 07:27 PM, 2old4this (guest) said...
    Subject: Potato Substitute?
    Sorry for the sacrilege, but as much as I love NE clam chowder, I have pretty much quit eating potatoes.
    Is there anything non starchy or sugary that could be used as a substitute?

    On January 02, 2008 at 03:36 PM, mary3333 (guest) said...
    Subject: best clam chowder ever
    Best NE Clam Chowder I ever had was on a cold, typical day in Newport, RI. ( it was June and around 68 degrees, we were freezing) My husband said let's take our two kids and go on the wharf and eat in one of those dive places that locals go to. Sure enough, we wnet in and had clam chowder, the best we ever had. Our son, who was 8 at the time, ate at least 3 bowls of it. Coming from Nashville, he had never had real clam chowder before. Great memories!! :D

    On January 28, 2008 at 04:38 PM, S.Elizabeth (guest) said...
    Subject: Potatoes
    I too am wanting to know about a potato substitute. Love the site - the marshmallows were great!

    On January 28, 2008 at 05:02 PM, Dilbert said...
    >>potato substitute

    parsnips and turnips come to mind - not sure that fits in the non-starch role, tho

    On March 03, 2008 at 03:31 PM, John (guest) said...
    Subject: NE Clam Chowda
    You folks that like it thick might like eating Mayo right out of the jar too. [u:23d27af5f8]R E A L[/u:23d27af5f8] Cape Cod Clam Chowda is not thick. You don't use a Roux. Just try out salt port in the pot on low heat so the fat won't brown. Then add the potatoes, onions and clams. Add butta and warm milk when you serve. If this is cooked correctly, the potatoes will thicken the chowda just enough. Of course you have to let this set for a day and then reheat. Much better the second day or the third, if there's any left. :D

    On March 20, 2008 at 04:22 PM, gram221 (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder
    Can New England clam chowder be frozen? I always make full recipes even though I live alone..can I freeze some for later?

    On March 21, 2008 at 02:03 PM, Beeje (guest) said...
    Subject: A New England Chef's Two Cents
    New England is indeed made up of six states - CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT - and nothing more. I grew up in NY State but have lived in CT & MA for 23 years, and it still bothers me that when I say I'm originally from NY people assume it's NY City. It's a large state, there's way more to it than just Manhattan and the boroughs - the beauty of the Adirondacks, the lakes and rivers throughout Upstate NY, the list goes on. Regardless, no part of NY City is considered part of New England; perhaps it's just wishful thinking on the part of Manhattanites that they be part of Red Sox Nation.

    As John posted above, the starch from the potatoes helps to thicken chowder. This, as well as well-rounded flavor, is why the potatoes should not be boiled separately and then added to the chowder. A flour and fat combo is a roux although in this recipe it's not prepared as a traditional roux. Whichever way works best to achieve the result you personally prefer is the one you should use. While it may not be "the" original New England version, the preparation as presented here is quite common in New England restaurants and home kitchens today.

    It's not a great idea to freeze chowder as both the dairy products and the potatoes will lose their integrity, and reheating will result in a significantly different texture and appearance. Substituting parsnips or turnips for potatoes is not recommended because they are both much stronger flavors and would overwhelm the delicate flavor of the clams.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    On April 02, 2008 at 09:44 PM, Cfiz (guest) said...
    Subject: Chowder !
    You can make chower that can be frozen. The key is to not add the dairy (either the cream or the milk) before it is frozen.

    To make this Rhode Island chowda you need the following:

    Bacon or Chirico
    salt n pepper

    Take your quahogs, wash em with a brush, and put them in a big pot. Cover with water. Put on very low to medium heat to cook them just enough to open them up.

    While your clams are cooking dice either two slices of bacon or a small piece of chirico. Place this in a frying pan for 5 minutes then add your chopped onions. Cook together until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown. Remove from the fire.

    Take you quahogs and shuck them over a bowl. Chop em. Put them in the bowl with the juice that you have collected.

    At this point you have the onions and the clams cooked and your juice. Sometimes I use the water from cooking the quahogs , strain it to remove any sand etc, then cook the potatoes with it.

    When the potatoes are half cooked add the rest of the items. Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point you have two choices. Continue and eat it. Or freeze it.

    Take some whole milk and being to whisk it into the chowder. Bring it to a boil and then remove it from the heat and serve right away. Garnish with a little dab of butter and paprika.

    Thats my story.

    On April 11, 2008 at 12:38 AM, Sherry (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Chowder
    Any recipe, or how you choose to prepare it all boils down to one thing...personal preference. I HATE, hearing people say, "no, no, no..." trying to tell people they are doing it all wrong, just because they aren't fixing it they way they 'demand' you to. Sheesh! People are not all alike, and what one likes prepared one way, the other may not like at all... So, you prepare it the way you like it and leave everyone else alone to decide for themselves which way is best for them. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong...., fix it how it tastes the best to you and ignore all the nay sayers. There are NO so-called food experts who can tell you what you like or don't is all up to the individual and how it tastes to them. No self-proclaimed food expert can decide that for you. All the nit-picking going on about this recipe is ridiculous... People trying to tout their own horns.....grow up!

    At any rate, we dug clams today, tried this recipe made with our fresh clams, and it was scrumptious...all nine of us who ate it agreed! That is all that matters, how it tastes to you. If you don't like it, go post your recipe on your own site and let people decide for themselves.

    Thanks for this recipe!

    On May 08, 2008 at 11:12 PM, Linda From OK (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Chowder
    I love clam chowder and any recipe is just a base for your own creation!

    As for eating fish on Friday, I think the real reason is because when you cook fish it stinks up the house. If you cook it on Friday night, you have time to clean the house on Saturday morning thus freshening away the fish funk!!! Ha Ha!!

    On May 12, 2008 at 11:51 PM, tu madre (guest) said...
    WTF I thought this was a recipe not a geography class, east of the Hudson. NE USA, who cares it's about New England clam chowder. Gee Willekers!!

    On May 25, 2008 at 11:23 AM, WICKEDMIX2001 (guest) said...
    Subject: OMG

    On May 29, 2008 at 04:42 AM, noahzark (guest) said...
    Subject: thickeningnclam chowder
    Afine Italian lady in Stamford Conn told me about 35 years ago what to do if my spaghetti sauce was too 'thin'. Her secret was to add a bit at a time of packaged instant potatoes, such a 'Hungry Jack'. She was right! It can be used to thicken many things, quickly and easily and does not impart a potato taste. n the case of clam chowder it is absolutely ideal.
    Try it.

    On June 22, 2008 at 12:08 PM, theirah (guest) said...
    Subject: bacon grease
    would it be ok to substitute lard for the bacon grease?
    I'm not very experienced at cooking yet, so still not sure what I can substitute for what...

    On June 22, 2008 at 12:14 PM, Dilbert said...
    Theirah -

    lard is rendered pork fat - so yes it can be a substitute.

    bacon grease adds a bit of 'bacon flavor' - but actually any fat (butter, etc.) can be used.

    On June 25, 2008 at 04:07 AM, EccentricFox said...
    Subject: o.O spices O.o
    Heh... I always find that adding 1 clove of fresh minced garlic while simmering the potatoes give the chowder a nice little kick... Also try topping the finished chowder off with some lemon zest..

    On August 21, 2008 at 10:49 AM, an anonymous reader said...
    Subject: Chowdah
    Can't resist sharing that my favorite restaurant clam chowdah flavah is Legal Seafood's. Tastes just as "New Englandy" at DC's National Airport as outside Providence Green Airport and also at Boston's on-the-wharf location - Family Guy

    On September 22, 2008 at 04:36 PM, mojotx (guest) said...
    Subject: two cents from a Texan
    As a true Texan, seasoned cook and lover of clam chowder I thought I'd share one minor addition that adds major flavor to any existing recipe. Fresh dill weed. I've been cooking great chowder for years and never new what was missing until I came across an idea to add fresh dill. I not only add a little to the stock, but also a sprinkling at the end. The first time I did this, I believe I over did it (be careful, a little goes a long way) but my guests to this day disagree, and rave over it. This herb really adds a fresh and flavorful element to an already great soup. I'm preparing a pot now for a friend's birthday, he'll be eccstatic.

    On September 26, 2008 at 05:30 PM, Broc Guillaume (Bill) (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Chowder
    :) French guy
    living in Viroflay, near Versailles and Paris

    I used to travel in the US, Boston, Salem, San Francisco, San Jose,
    Washington, Baltimore , Annapolis, I love so much the country.
    I will try the clam chowder i tasted in Boston and Frisco.
    Thanks a lot

    On October 24, 2008 at 11:56 AM, Kimber (guest) said...
    Subject: Portions
    I made this recipe and it was great!! My husband loved it he's from the New england area and grew up on it.

    My question is two-fold: if I wanted to make this for a group of people, do I simply follow the recipe and multily by 5? (Need to serve 30) Or make it in batches and follow the original recipe?

    Also, in your opinion, would this be a good recipe to make, then take to a pot luck and reheat in a slow cooker?

    On October 24, 2008 at 11:59 AM, Kimber (guest) said...
    Subject: Re: thickeningnclam chowder
    noahzark wrote:
    Afine Italian lady in Stamford Conn told me about 35 years ago what to do if my spaghetti sauce was too 'thin'. Her secret was to add a bit at a time of packaged instant potatoes, such a 'Hungry Jack'. She was right! It can be used to thicken many things, quickly and easily and does not impart a potato taste. n the case of clam chowder it is absolutely ideal.
    Try it.

    What a great idea, I will try it!!

    On October 24, 2008 at 12:02 PM, kIMBER (guest) said...
    Subject: Blending flavors
    Anonymous wrote:
    My ten year old daughter and I just finished making the chowder. We made it for the soup course at our Thanksgiving dinner. We are allowing a few days for the flavors to blend together. But even though it hasn't had time for the flavors to blend , we both agreed that it was of the best chowders we have ever tasted. Thanks so much for the outstanding recipe and making cooking easy for a dad to do!

    Silly question, how long is a good time to allow the flavors to blend? I made mine and we ate it right away, it was delicious, but I bet it would've been even better if I'd made it the night before....

    On October 24, 2008 at 12:36 PM, Dilbert said...
    Kimber -

    not sure the New England style needs a lot of "flavor melding" time - as opposed to the Manhattan style which needs to extract/blend the leafy herbs and vegetable.

    I should think a hour, perhaps two is max. benefit. depending on the potato you use (hi/lo starch, there's a debate...) making it too far ahead and holding it could result in unintentional thickening as a starchy potato breaks down.

    On October 25, 2008 at 10:20 AM, Kimber (guest) said...
    Subject: Quantity Cooking
    In order to cook this delicious chowder for about 30 people, should i make it in batches (following the recipe above) or can I multiply the measurements X 5?


    On October 25, 2008 at 12:07 PM, Dilbert said...
    ..batches me thinks.

    in a home kitchen, you'll probably use something like a stock pot. the problem with one huge batch is a small heating area (the pot bottom) to a tall volume. even with stirring I would not expect an even heating throughout the pot - given it's a something viscous mix.

    two large diameter pots would be my approach . . .

    On November 09, 2008 at 11:16 PM, sjh (guest) said...
    Subject: recipe
    made this recipe for about 30 of my nearest and dearest. We just made the whole recipe times 5. Huge pot. It worked fine. Greatest chowder I've ever made; used Yukon gold. Yum.

    On November 15, 2008 at 08:17 AM, lexkyphil (guest) said...
    Subject: Chirico-wtf is it?
    What is chirico? It was mentioned in one recipe as an equivalent to bacon. I have never heard of it and cannot find any definition on the web other than an Italian painter whose works look like he copied Salvador Dali. Help, anyone?

    Phillip in Lexington, KY

    On November 15, 2008 at 08:37 AM, Dilbert said...
    it's a spiced dried / cured sausage

    there are multiple spellings and of course no two brands taste exactly alike either.

    On November 23, 2008 at 09:22 AM, Winery (guest) said...
    Subject: Like minds...
    I wanted to add clam chowder to our wine bar buffet and found several recipes on line. I am the winemaker/cook/janitor and do all wine blinding, so I blended several recipes together, from easy to hard, and came up with my version. Guess what? It is exactly the same. Only difference is leaving some of the bacon in during cooking and a splash of sherry after plating (not the cooking version).

    I figured I was just lucky with the "blend" and have never deviated. Our customers would revolt. I don't usually get so lucky when blending recipes, so I can't wait to check out more of yours...!

    On December 22, 2008 at 02:53 PM, bookaholic (guest) said...
    Subject: great setup!
    Googling for Clam Chowder and found your site... The recipe sounds just like what I was looking for and I'm definitely going to try it... second, this site seems geared towards an egghead who likes to eat (aka ME), but the real reason I wrote is that I've never seen a recipe set up like your chart... LOVE. IT. It's perfect!

    On December 22, 2008 at 05:39 PM, Jupiter (guest) said...
    Hi, I've tried this recipe and I absoloutely Loved it... not only me, but the whole family enjoyed it a lot... i want to make it again some time soon and was wondering what we would have clam chowder soup with? any suggestions anyone? I was thinking of salmon and some rice.. would clam chowder go with this dish?


    On January 20, 2009 at 02:07 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    I followed this recipe to a T, but have never had clam chowder (or clams at all!) in my life. After buying a few cans of clams and tasting one, I decided that I like clams and would continue on to make the recipe. I used bottled clam juice instead of the stuff in the cans.

    However, the result didn't impress me. I added salt to taste but it's kind of bland and I had to give it a quick pulse with my immersion blender to thicken it up a little. After chucking in a hunk of butter, the flavour improved tremendously, but it's still not that impressive. I hope my boyfriend likes it better than me. Maybe I'm just a sucker for butter.

    On January 20, 2009 at 02:43 PM, Dilbert said...
    Hi Butter -

    well, clam chowder is all about the clams - it is not a rip-out-yo-taste-buds savory type dish. not sure I would describe "clam" as a 'delicate' flavor, but it's not in the same class as say pepperoni.

    as to some specific questions, bottled juice vs canned - not an issue. if it is an issue it is the brand of juice being more or less 'better' - not can vs bottle

    thickening: most of that comes from the potatoes; minor amount from the heavy cream reduction. a high starch potato type is best - and even that depends on variety and how cooked they are - slightly overcooked will give you some "freely available starch" a waxy type potato will not provide much thickening at all. regardless, a quick pass with the boat motor is entirely in order.

    if you have the option, supermarket shelves being what they are, check out different brand names of clams and juice. they do vary. and if you have the availability - fresh clams will certainly set your taste buds in motion - steam them until they just open, scoop out the goodies, save the steaming juice for the chowder. there be clams, and then there be _clams_!

    On January 23, 2009 at 04:35 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    Dilbert wrote:
    Hi Butter -

    well, clam chowder is all about the clams - it is not a rip-out-yo-taste-buds savory type dish. not sure I would describe "clam" as a 'delicate' flavor, but it's not in the same class as say pepperoni.

    as to some specific questions, bottled juice vs canned - not an issue. if it is an issue it is the brand of juice being more or less 'better' - not can vs bottle

    thickening: most of that comes from the potatoes; minor amount from the heavy cream reduction. a high starch potato type is best - and even that depends on variety and how cooked they are - slightly overcooked will give you some "freely available starch" a waxy type potato will not provide much thickening at all. regardless, a quick pass with the boat motor is entirely in order.

    if you have the option, supermarket shelves being what they are, check out different brand names of clams and juice. they do vary. and if you have the availability - fresh clams will certainly set your taste buds in motion - steam them until they just open, scoop out the goodies, save the steaming juice for the chowder. there be clams, and then there be _clams_!

    I should clarify - by "stuff in the cans" I meant the juice that was packed with the clams, which isn't clam juice at all but rather water that has had the clams soaking in it.

    I am not sure how to choose a high-starch potato - where I live, they are divided into "Yellow flesh", "White" and "Red" potatoes. I like the yellow flesh because the flavour. Though I'm not sure what kind of potato it is, or any of the other ones.

    The yellow flesh potatoes are somewhat more yellow inside than the white potatoes, though they look about the same on the outside. The skins are very thin and I never remove them. The only difference between the white and red potatoes seem to be the skin (they could have others but I have never noticed them).

    I don't live in an area where fresh seafood is readily available, and even then, I don't think I'd have time to go through shucking all the clams I'd need for a recipe such as this! Nor carrying them home from the supermarket... can't imagine what a gigantic bag I'd need to carry them all.

    On January 23, 2009 at 05:31 PM, Dilbert said...
    try russets for the chowder.

    white potatoes are often called "all purpose" - they range in the middle regarding starch

    reds, fingerlings, yukons are low starch.

    juice from the clam can - that works!<g>

    our markets (sometimes) have fresh chopped clams in a container. worth a try if you find them!

    On February 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    This recipe was great! It was not much of a hassle for a beginner like me. I was little generous on the salt though. So my clam chowder was a tad too salty but the taste of the clams and thickness of the chowder was fine.

    The guideline on having 18%-30% fat content was a good gauge. I used approximately 230 ml of cream (20% fat) and 200 of milk (low fat though). I was quite worried that the texture might not turn out well. But it was great!

    Thank you for your recipe and I am glad my first attempt at clam chowder was a good one! :)

    On February 24, 2009 at 11:21 PM, veniceerose (guest) said...
    Subject: Order of operations
    I've made cream-based chowders for years, always doing it without a recipe. Yesterday I made it again while attempting to standardize it for family members to use.

    I got confused about the best order of operations, which made me call myself all sorts of unkind names. So it was funny (and helpful) to find the discussion "roux first" on this site. (I usually opt for the "messy kitchen" method.)

    Anyway, thanks to everyone who is so generous with their knowledge.


    On February 26, 2009 at 10:01 PM, Reverend Bob (guest) said...
    Subject: Real NEw England Clam Chowder
    I have been making/eating NE Clam Chowder for over 65 years and never in my life have I heard so many undesirable comments as to what it consists of. Especially the adding dill, parsnips, garlic, and whatever other fancy someone adds.
    First off, NE CC. is started with Salt Pork (for the flavor) and for the fat to cook the onion in.
    I use, as did my Mother and her Mother before her, Soft Shelled, Quahogs, Sea Clams or the like.
    Use clam juice or save the clam broth from steamers the night before.
    Do the usual sauteing of the onion, then add the diced potatoes and lastly the clams. However, and this is the real kicker: we always used evaporated milk in our NE Chowder. Top it all off with some cream (usually this was from the top of the milk bottle in the old days). Sprinkle some paprika on top with a generous pat of butter and put in the refrigerator until the next day. This affords the chowder to take on all the luscious flavors.
    Reverend Bob

    On April 29, 2009 at 12:28 AM, an anonymous reader said...

    Love the word LUSCIOUS....will try this method.

    On May 24, 2009 at 08:06 PM, icrn007 (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder
    Used your recipe after trying several other's over the years, yours is excellent and easy to follow. Made it for 21st Birthday of my son, as a requested item on celebration menu and it was enjoyed by all. Thanks for a user friendly site!

    On May 25, 2009 at 10:36 PM, giddik (guest) said...
    Subject: Fresh Clams
    I was given some fresh clams yesterday. i will be making clam chowder tomorrow night. The recipe i have (from a local chef) has you to saute onions and celery. The recipe also calls for thyme. Does any of this sound right?

    On May 26, 2009 at 07:15 AM, Dilbert said...
    it all sounds 'right'

    as you can see in this and many other discussions, there is no such thing as 'the one and only authentic' <fill in the dish>

    if you liked your local chef's chowder, go with his directions.

    On May 28, 2009 at 10:45 PM, Olthunder (guest) said...
    Subject: Texas Style Chowder
    Ok kids, I've worked in New England on a couple of occasions and loved the chowder on cold days. Being from Texas you won't find Chowder here unless it's out of a can. Here's a different twist on the classic. First I cook 1 pound of bacon till it's almost crisp. I drop in 1 Texas 1015 onion(super sweet about the size of a softball) into the bacon (never said it was heart healthy) and clarify the the onions. All you purist look away now as I drop in 6 cloves of chopped garlic. Drop in 6 small cans of minced clams with juice and continue(no fresh clams in Texas). I generally use 3 or 4 Russet potatos in about 1/2" cube cut (depends on how many kids are around). You may need to add just enough water to cover the potatos and keep going. Now the really gonna catch hell part. Take 1 whole package of Philly Cream Cheese and drop it in pieces and stir. It will start melting down and the chowder will start coming together. Not done yet. Let the potatos soften (test with a fork) once soft add 1 pint of Half and Half. Add fresh parsley to suit and bring to a boil. If too watery adjust with corn starch slurry (1 tablespoon of corn starch to 1/2 tablespoon of water. Bring to boil and it will thicken. Add some fresh crusty bread and stand back. For a little different look try a couple of seeded and veined jalapenos diced really fine for a liitle heat. Enjoy

    On June 23, 2009 at 11:07 PM, Biologyguy (guest) said...
    Subject: I am heading to Texas!
    The base recipe is about as simple and flexible as they come.

    Cream Cheese works great. It adds really great thickening that holds up to freezing better.

    I like to begin with clarified butter to saute the onions and potatoes. Salt pork is mild enough, but bacon can impart too much smoke flavor.

    Have to agree on adding thyme, along with a small amount of white pepper you will have a much more flavorful chowda.

    Finally, I use both russets and yukon golds. The russets will help thicken and the yukon golds impart buttery creaminess.

    On July 08, 2009 at 05:47 PM, Roni (guest) said...
    Subject: nice recipe, few mods
    Nice recipe! Tried it yesterday, turned out fine. Next time, I'll have 1 modification
    I think I will saute the clams a bit before putting in soup--it was too raw for my taste in the final soup.
    I used fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing, and it went wonderfully well with the soup.

    On August 02, 2009 at 05:10 AM, Theresia (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chower comment
    This is almost exactly the way my Mom made her Chowder-the ONLY thing she did differently is that she liked to add a very finely diced rib of celery along with the onion during saute time. She also left the small bits of bacon she rendered the fat out of right in the chowder. I hope Mom's addition of the celery is not considered sacrilige. She was a lovely Catholic lady-who substituted butter (for the bacon and bacon fat) only on Fridays. I always loved Mom's Chowder...

    On August 18, 2009 at 03:30 PM, Dustin C (guest) said...
    Subject: Chowda
    I succesfully made the chowder, as poor cook, i found the directions nice and easy to follow. My chowder turned out much thinner than I was used to, and used some flour based thickener to increase the viscosity. It turned out a little short on flavor, can anyone reccomend any spices or other ingredients that could be added to increase the flavor. I realzie chowder is not a extremely potent flavor, but it had considerable less flavor than I was used to tasting in restaurants etc.

    I am sure as I keep making it and get better at cooking, it will be better, but any other ingredients for a possible increase in flavor?

    On August 18, 2009 at 04:18 PM, Dilbert said...
    Dustin -

    a lot of the thickening potential comes from the potatoes - which are a variable - some break down more than others. a high starch variety (like russets) is preferred - but even russets vary. but it's not unheard of to tweak the consistency.

    also to think on - potatoes benefit from salt - brings out their flavor. you might try a touch more next batch.

    past that it's pretty much all about the clams - if you can get live clams that's the best taste approach - I find the canned clam does lose a lot of its flavor.

    reducing the clam juice prior to adding is another 'clam it up' trick.

    I like to use a sharp yellow onion - a little bit of mild onion can get lost. I probably use double the onion of this recipe.

    I also use chopped parsley or fresh chives stirred in and cooking end.

    personally I don't keep bacon fat around, so I fry up 4-5 slices to get the fat - done to crispy crisp state, the crumbled bacon goes on top just prior to service.

    if you want more fancy, finely diced hard boiled eggs is another nice 'floater' for presentation.

    On August 18, 2009 at 04:35 PM, Michael Chu said...
    Dilbert wrote:
    reducing the clam juice prior to adding is another 'clam it up' trick.

    Since Dustin implied he was new to cooking, I thought I'd clarify what Dilbert means by "reducing". He doesn't mean reducing the amount of clam juice used - in kitchen-speak "reducing" means to concentrate by way of boiling/simmering. The volume is reduced, but the flavors are concentrated.

    On August 30, 2009 at 07:36 PM, moldawg (guest) said...
    Subject: thanks!
    thank you for this recipe, i had always wanted to try making clam chowder, but was intimidated. It's very tasty - i like having everybody's ideas and opinions here because it gave me a couple ideas for next time. Thanks again!

    On September 19, 2009 at 11:35 PM, starfreedom (guest) said...
    Subject: cracking up
    This recipe looks right on, we will be trying it soon. I am cracking up that people have been discussing this recipe for over 4 years and counting so I had to add my two cents. :D

    On November 08, 2009 at 03:02 PM, jjoachim (guest) said...
    Subject: i love this!!!
    I grew up with chowder that had celery in it and wasn't a rich/creamy....this is such a good recipe. I have made it twice now and it is so simple. I love how the recipe is laid out and all the pictures. Thanks for this great addition!

    On November 18, 2009 at 05:29 AM, Sausageman said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder
    The last time I had real New England clam chowder was in 1987 in Hartford CT when I was doing a course on the Lycoming ALF 502 engine.
    I visited a restaurant called the "Nautical Wheel". It was fabulous, I even left a 30 dollar tip,(more than the meal cost then) the waitresses were just unbelievable, they each took turns in sitting with my group and told us of the history of the place. I have never experienced anything like that anywhere else in the World with waiting staff. I sincerely hope they are still in operation.

    I have made my own version of it many times since, and it is one of my favourite dishes from anywhere in this World.


    On November 18, 2009 at 07:32 AM, Cornelius said...
    You know, somewhat ironically, there is a restaurant in the Seattle area that won a major New England style clam chowder cook-off, in New England, three years in a row. The only reason it wasn't four years in a row was because they didn't bother to show up after their third win.

    As far as I am concerned, New England style is clam chowder, and that Manhattan stuff is just a weird, red soup that happens to contain clams. :)

    On November 18, 2009 at 04:08 PM, Woody (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam juice unavailable
    Hi, I live in Paris France. Clam juice is unavailable here. What can I replace it with? I have not had clam chowder for a long time. I went to college in NY a while ago and I had clam chowder all the time, I also had some really nice clam chowder at Bull and Finch in Boston. I would really like to prepare some. Canned seafood is not available here. How can I prepare a base from fresh clams or any other type of fish/seafood? I miss this tasty rich and thick taste. Thanx

    On November 18, 2009 at 05:47 PM, Dilbert said...
    Woody -

    clam juice is essentially the pot liquid from steaming clams - so indeed you can start with fresh clams!

    I usually steam them with some onion / celery / salt - just strain out the solids and you've got 'instant' clam juice. you can also reduce it very gently to help concentrate the flavor.

    working with canned clams usually does not produce enough liquid - hence the bottled clam juice booster.

    On November 22, 2009 at 03:57 PM, Woody (guest) said...
    Subject: Thanx
    Thanx Dilbert. I will do just that. I am sure that the result will be scrumptious.


    On December 19, 2009 at 12:58 AM, Boston (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Includes Maritime States And NYC?
    Who said to shut up about where New England begins and ends? Do you have a problem? Come over here and let's talk about it for a second.

    We here in New England love to argue about anything, and everything. A very important things to us is our group identity, which is in part defined by our geography.

    A prized characteristic here is to be honest to others. That's why when you ask someone "How are you today?" they might respond with "Horrible, I'm just having one hell of a day." Think I'm lying? Look at the Boston Herald comments about the Red Sox. We're a bitter and angry group of people. And when people make mistakes about us, we care, and we love to point out flaws. Hence the voluminous response response to a tiny geographical error.

    I think if you are going to cook New England food, you might try on our emotional angst and bitterness while you're cooking. Just for kicks! Scowl the whole time you cook.

    Wikipedia is wrong. Just for the record, here is how Bostonians define New England:

    NYC is not New England. Half of Connecticut is not New England either; it is Suburban NYC or "The backyard" or the city. Yankee fans too.

    All of Mass, Vermont, R.I., New Hampshire and Maine are in New England.

    Many consider New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland to be a part of New England, but generally we term this group "Maritime States" because it's Canada, even though we do share "New England" cultural heritage with them.

    Quebec is Not New England; is is French Canadia.

    Secretly, we all wish NYC was a part of New England, but our angst gets in the way. Probably the day we admit we like NY, we'll get annexed.

    On December 24, 2009 at 02:31 PM, guest (guest) said...
    Thanks for the recipe and the comments were wonderful and helpful.

    I have been making a version of chowder for years that my family loves.
    I always make a huge potful because they eat it for breakfast and lunch the next day.

    Since our family rarely goes by breakfast conventions, it is rather sweet to see them eat and enjoy huge bowlsful of it the next day and ignore other food.

    What is a standby menu with the chowder is cornbread or a whole grain quick bread, and an apple crisp for dessert, no ice cream or whipped cream.

    On January 01, 2010 at 12:12 PM, City Cook'n (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Cowder
    I thought this was about 'Soup' not a 'State' or Region.

    On January 12, 2010 at 02:19 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    As a visitor to San Francisco from Australia one of the highlights was the Clam Chowder - couldn't get enough! I have tried Campbell's canned chowder and it is not too bad but it has inspired me to try to cook my own. This recipe looks great, I usually do a roux but have an open mind about it.
    The arguments about ingredients and geography etc. do not change the fact that New England Clam Chowder is fabulous.

    On February 05, 2010 at 02:03 PM, BrendaK66 (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder
    Hey Michael,

    I love this receipe. Thanks for all the detail and pictures, as it really helps to know what things are supposed to look like at various stages. My husband loves clam chowder, so I just made this version last weekend and it was the best we've ever tasted.

    Brenda K

    On February 16, 2010 at 06:52 AM, an anonymous reader said...

    We just made the New England Clam Chowder. It was the best that we have ever had.

    Congratulations! :)

    On February 17, 2010 at 09:53 PM, DeadFred (guest) said...
    Subject: ...I want to live in "new England"
    I'm moving there from the left coast what really is NE? Headed to Maine's 80 here in San Diego today BTW.. :-)

    On March 14, 2010 at 07:20 AM, shadowstabbing said...
    You don't want to simply plop all the flower down. Singer works best.

    On March 29, 2010 at 03:51 PM, Ernie Johnson (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder
    I tried your recipe for the first time but with some of my own revisions added... First let me tell you that in our opinions here the combination of the two were very good indeed. Thank you.
    First I did use bacon. and very thick lean and tasty type. Second I used fresh Razor clams I got my self. third I used two sprigs of garlic and several good shots of Tabasco sauce as my seasoning to taste
    On the making process I chopped the clams into very small pieces and cooked them separately in a pan with the garlic till not quite brown, draining off the juice into the the already cooking potatoes. Every thing else I did as your recipe asked..
    Thanks again it's nice to look up on the Internet a recipe and have it turn out good. I'll print and keep this one.. :)

    On April 01, 2010 at 07:55 AM, Sven (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder - Easy?
    I must side with the whole "Roux First" discussion. A good clam chowder should take a while to make...I don't like the "quick & easy" methods.
    I use fresh clams, not canned ones (must cook separate because of the sand still coming out - even after draining), did the roux etc.

    But maybe, I just like cooking :P

    Thanks for the recipe, a great guide!

    On April 12, 2010 at 02:07 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    I made this exactly as instructed and it was a huge hit. In the past I have always made it with a roux and I thought this was much better. I'm from Maine but I'm open to new interpretations of old favorites :)

    On September 22, 2010 at 12:26 AM, mack1 (guest) said...
    Hmmm..... I just made this, but used salt pork grease instead of bacon grease, no onion, and doubled the clams.

    It is off somewhere, and I can't quite tell what it is. I'm thinking it might be the clam juice, or it might be the starch from the potatoes. I added some butter and it did help. For what its worth, the lady liked it.

    On October 22, 2010 at 03:32 PM, Kristen (guest) said...
    Subject: clam chowder
    Delicious. Thank you! I fried up the onions and potatoes in butter (instead of bacon fat) and added celery and carrots too. I didn't have cream or half and half so used milk and it was still great. Nice and creamy.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    On October 28, 2010 at 05:44 PM, dbeem (guest) said...
    A roux is an essential part of French cooking and is therefore an essential part of Cajun cooking. This was adapted into southern cooking. I repeat: SOUTHERN COOKING. This is why a roux is not used in traditional New England clam chowder. Nothing is to stop anyone from using a roux in clam chowder, but if a roux is used, don't consider what you have made to be traditional New England clam chowder.

    On December 22, 2010 at 11:36 AM, Vicky (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Chowder
    I've made this soup twice now and it came out great both times. I love clam chowder and have been looking for a good recipe to try - and this is it. I think cooking in the bacon grease definitely adds flavor to the soup! Great recipe!

    On February 20, 2011 at 06:12 AM, LBI fisherman (guest) said...
    Subject: Chowda
    Here on Long Beach Island ,nj we our proud of our chowda, and have a cook-off each fall. The best is fresh. Don't add the clams till the end. If you are in a hurry, buy chowder in the can. Good cooking can take some time!!

    On April 15, 2011 at 02:52 AM, an anonymous reader said...
    Subject: new england clam chowder
    New England clam chowder recipe sounds delicious. Is it possible to make larger amount and freeze it?

    On June 13, 2011 at 06:03 AM, bacon (guest) said...
    Subject: Clam Chowder
    For the person living in Paris, of course we have clams in Europe, in the UK they are known as cockles in French "praires" and in German "Venusmuschel". They are not the same varieties of clam as in the USA, i.e. no littlenecks or quahogs but they are in the clam family all the same and can be made into clam chowder. Cockles are usually sold minus the shell, the best place for cockles in the UK is in Wales,Swansea Market on a Wednesday, there are also delicious cockles in Morecambe Bay (where the Chinese cockle-pickers were killed by the rising tide).

    On July 22, 2011 at 08:33 PM, kaitsmom (guest) said...
    Subject: new england clam chowder
    Honestly; I think if you ever had OUR clam chowder, ITS WONDERFUL, whether your from Chicopee, Mass or Fall River, Mass, Hartford, Ct or Providence, RI, Maine or Vermont, Every state and every family makes clam chowder different,! All taste good cuz it from New England!!! Hence the name, My grandmothers is slightly different then my mom, i like grams better maybe cause its old school, like the one guy said using the crean from the top of the milk back in the day. Chircio, thats a Protuguese sausage used to make kale soup! And the best is Gaspars out of Bedford Mass! I love the recipe and can't wait to make it tomorrow! I live in FL now and their chowder sucks New England Clam Chowder is just that... New England!!!

    On August 01, 2011 at 07:31 PM, Bobby Molden (guest) said...
    Subject: New England Clam Chowder.
    Well, i tried to follow the recipie best i could except for the portions. This is a dish my wife allways orders when she gets the chance so thought i'd take a crack at it. I started from the bacon grease all the way down to the heavy cream and half and half. Stuffed it in the middle with plenty of minced clams and whole baby ones. Ohh yeah, I went for broke and just for good measure added some chopped mushrooms. I got carried away and ended up with a big pot. I added some Rock sea salt and black pepper, stired it well. stuck a spoon in it and tasted. Damn that is good. Blew my mind if i do say so myself. You boys sure know your stuff up in here and im grateful. Man, i mean this stuff rivals any i've had anywhere! Thanks again for teaching me how to make this dish.

    On August 10, 2011 at 11:46 AM, glfgrl (guest) said...
    Subject: NICE!!!
    Love the recipe sounds so good, I know this is an old blog, but I also love the way to have the recipe listed below the pics....very unique format and hope to see more of your recipes....keep cookin :)

    On October 22, 2011 at 01:36 PM, Janet (guest) said...
    Subject: ClamChowder
    Read all the comments and ready to go-BUT I need to make this for 40 people. Do I taje basic recipe and multiple everything by 6?/
    Hope for answer soon - I'm on leaving Wed 10/26 to Mexico - and YES I do my own clamming.

    On October 22, 2011 at 03:02 PM, Dilbert said...
    ... just everything x6

    bottom line yes, recipes are usually flexible to minor changes in proportions _except_

    seasonings - some are "stronger" than others and less than x6 will work - a minor "generality" in this case as the recipe is just salt&pepper

    "thickening" - one single huge pot is is going to cook differently - in particular the amount of starch coming out of the potatoes - so don't put in all the x6 liquids at one crack - hold off to see how it thickens up and be prepared to add more or less liquid than the x6 math indicates.

    On November 08, 2011 at 11:55 AM, ME (guest) said...
    Subject: NEW ENGLAND
    Who cares where "NEW ENGLAND" is...

    On December 18, 2011 at 10:46 AM, kimberly (guest) said...
    Subject: Is New York part of New England
    New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada (the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec) and the state of New York.

    On June 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM, pjayy (guest) said...
    Subject: AOK by me!!!
    Since this is a "stew", the recipe is quite "forgiving". Nonetheless I made this chowder once, sticking closely to the recipe EXCEPT that I used diced white baby potatoes with skin-on, and was thrilled.

    Using Fresh clams:

    Today I made an over-sized recipe with 2 dozen clams ranging from "Cherrystone" to large "Quahog" size, and it is again marvelous. Washed, then soaked the raw clams in water with corn starch and salt, then rinsed them again. Steamed the clams open, saved the broth (let the sand settle out) and used this instead of bottled clam juice. Same as before using baby white skin-on spuds. Wow-ee.

    With fresh clams (and no food processor nearby for chopping - lost it in Hurricane Irene and haven't replaced it yet) it's quite a bit more time-consuming, but I'm not complaining - it was worth it!

    We are all um... happy as a clam here.

    Thanks again!!!


    On August 08, 2013 at 08:02 PM, Lee Siu Hoi (guest) said...
    Subject: New England
    I thought any parts of America in the first 13 states are classified as New England, unless, of course if you wish to call yourself New France instead. :D

    On September 10, 2013 at 12:25 PM, an anonymous reader said...
    So we tried your Clam Chowder tonight and it was FANTASTIC! I had three tins of clams left that my mom shipped over to the UK for me (you can't get them here) and I needed to use them up before we move back to NH. It went down a treat! The only thing I added was a can of creamed corn because that's how I remember my mom's. Thanks for the fantastic memory!

    On December 30, 2014 at 01:46 PM, Anna (guest) said...
    Subject: This is THE BEST clam chowder I have ever had
    I have made this so many times now, that I have to post a comment. My husband is from the North and loves clam chowder. Campbell's Chunky New England style has been a staple of his single life. I tried making this recipe for the first time last year it was a hit!
    Our brother in law, who is from Boston, LOVED it too. He and his wife said it was the better than a restaurant. So decadent.
    I've made it a few times now, and it's always received rave reviews. I figured it was time for me to post a big Thank You!! I love your site and learning the science behind the ingredients. You have made me a better cook.

    On February 03, 2016 at 09:00 PM, Matttail (guest) said...
    Subject: Rice Milk
    I just made this recipe again, except I used all unsweetened rice milk. To help keep the recipe thick I added some olive oil in with the grease from 4 strips of bacon to bring it up to about 1/3 cup grease. Then I used 1/3 cup flour as well. Super tasty and lactose free!

    On September 21, 2016 at 02:02 PM, Retired_in_Wisconsin (guest) said...
    Subject: a few New England clam chowder things I DO
    try adding a few tins of smoked oysters at the end. I usually finish with some fresh lime-juice and finely chopped Cilantro. I've been known to hide JUST a hint of Jamaican curry in there, not enough anyone figures it out. For bacon I try to use bacon ends and pieces since I can have meaty chunks of bacon then, I trim the fat off to a sane level first. Walmart has the bacon ends and pieces where I live in Madison, Wisconsin. Serve with warmed real sourdough bread, no yeast added. Locally the best sourdough comes from outfits that have fancy steam-injection ovens to make that leathery crust.

    On March 15, 2021 at 02:53 PM, guest (guest) said...
    Subject: Flour
    Recipe for clam chowder.

    Add flour and throw the mess out.

    Reduction and butter makes the chowder.
    Salt Pork is the only option, it is found in grocers everywhere.

    Any thing else comes from furiners

    On April 01, 2021 at 06:04 AM, sensiblewall said...
    Anonymous wrote:
    I really like the chart that yo have at the end as a summary for the recipe. Will you always do this when you present a recipe?

    Yeah, the chart makes it easily understood. Hope others would also present their recipes in that way :lol:

    On April 26, 2021 at 09:16 PM, SmartShabby said...
    What's the other use of clam powder? I just know that its a good substitute for chicken broth.

    On June 20, 2021 at 04:37 PM, Penitentreclusive said...
    Subject: Re: New England
    BenFrantzDale wrote:
    For what it's worth, the Wikipedia article on New England mentions that the "East of the Hudson" distinction is antiquated and/or rarely used.

    Yes, we can say this is correct.

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