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New England Clam Chowder Recipe

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

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This creamy and hearty chowder recipe is super easy, even with fresh clams. Between the fresh clams, bacon, and heavy cream, this clam chowder is full of flavor!

new england clam chowder

For the last couple of years, my husband has taken up the hobby of clamming here in New Jersey. Fresh clams are delicious and plentiful!

We’ve been making all sorts of delicious recipes with our Jersey fresh clams, but our favorite is this New England Clam Chowder recipe.

Of course, clam chowder is perfect for the cool winter months, but guess what? We love to enjoy it all year long because it’s just that delicious! 

Don’t be intimidated by using fresh clams. It is so much better, I promise. There’s so many levels of flavor in this chowder. From the saltiness of the clams to the bacon to the seasonings.

How to make New England Clam Chowder:

We use fresh, live clams. In a large stock pot, bring a cup of water to a boil. Add 2-3 bay leaves. You want to steam the clams and more water will dilute the delicious clam broth. 

new england clam chowder

Add the clams, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the clams open up. You will want to reserve the broth. 

clam broth

Run the broth through a sieve or cheesecloth. We use a coffee filter on top of a mason jar to do this. 

Clean your stock pot. Add diced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until the bacon becomes crispy, about 4-5 minutes. 

Throw in 2 tablespoons of butter and cook onions, celery and half of the potatoes needed. Cook about 10 minutes, giving it an occasional stir. 

new england clam chowder

Stir in flour and coat ingredients. 

Pour in the clam juice, remaining potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt, pepper. Stir.

new england clam chowder

Bring chowder to a boil. Cook on low until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. 

Remove pot from heat. Add in clams and heavy cream. 

Serve with a tablespoon of butter on top.

new england clam chowder

new england clam chowder

Is there anything better than a bowl of  New England Clam Chowder? I love to serve them with some oyster crackers or some freshly baked bread, like some of this One hour bread recipe  or these cheddar baked biscuits

How to Make Clam Chowder without Fresh Clams:

Of course, it’s not always feasible to use fresh clams. And that’s ok! Here’s what you need:

Use 3 cans of canned clams. Reserve the clam broth in the clams, it is about 1 cup of broth. You will need 2 extra bottles of clam broth.

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This creamy and hearty chowder recipe is super easy, even with fresh clams. Between the fresh clams, bacon, and heavy cream, this clam chowder is full of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced 

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 5 lbs live cherrystone clams (Substitute for 3 cans of chopped clams)
  • 3 cups clam juice
  • 1 1/4 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt & black pepper

Instructions

    1. We use fresh, live clams. In a large stock pot, bring a cup of water to a boil. Add 2-3 bay leaves. You want to steam the clams and more water will dilute the delicious clam broth. 
    2. Add the clams, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the clams open up. You will want to reserve the broth. 
    3. Run the broth through a sieve or cheesecloth. We use a coffee filter on top of a mason jar to do this. 
    4. Clean your stock pot. Add diced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until the bacon becomes crispy, about 4-5 minutes. 
    5. Throw in 2 tablespoons of butter and cook onions, celery and half of the potatoes needed. Cook about 10 minutes, giving it an occasional stir. 
    6. Stir in flour and coat ingredients. 
    7. Pour in the clam juice, remaining potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt, pepper. Stir.
    8. Bring chowder to a boil. Cook on low until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. 
    9. Remove pot from heat. Add in clams and heavy cream
    10. Serve with a tablespoon of butter on top.

Notes

Of course, it's not always feasible to use fresh clams. And that's ok! Here's what you need:

Use 3 cans of canned clams. Reserve the clam broth in the clams, it is about 1 cup of broth. You will need 2 extra bottles of clam broth.

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Charlene

Sunday 13th of December 2020

I have read and reread the recipe numerous times thinking I was overlooking the amount of cream but I don’t see it in the recipe so I just added 2 cups.

momma lew

Sunday 13th of December 2020

Oh no! I am sorry! Yes 2 cups is right!

Laura Email Shaw

Monday 7th of September 2020

This looks delicious. Now I'm craving clams. Thanks for sharing this.