England Clam Chowder

Stirrin' It Up: New England Clam Chowder - Part 1 (Jan. 21)
Updated: Jan. 19, 2016 at 10:36 PM CST
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(Air date: January 21, 2016. Source: Chef John Folse.)

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yield: 8 Servings


England Clam Chowder, while hardly a global dish, is never the less renowned in culinary circles worldwide for its simplicity. The word chowder comes from the old English word jowter, a word for a fish peddler. Due to England's proximity to the sea and its cold wet winters, there is no wonder why the English came up with such a hearty and filling dish.


2 pounds clams, chopped and liquid reserved

½ pound bacon, chopped

1½ cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

2 tbsps flour

4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup bottled clam juice

2 tbsps butter

salt and black pepper to taste

3 cups milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp chopped thyme

½ cup slurry (2 tbsps flour or cornstarch mixed with ½ cup water)

2 tbsps chopped fresh chives for garnish


In a large Dutch oven, brown bacon over medium-high heat to render fat. Remove bacon and set aside, reserving drippings in pan. Add onions and celery to bacon fat then sauté 5–7 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring often. Add flour and whisk constantly until a white roux is achieved, taking care not to brown flour. Add potatoes, reserved liquid from clams, bottled clam juice and butter, stirring well to incorporate all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring until potatoes are tender. Add milk, cream, clams, cooked bacon and thyme, stirring to mix. If a thicker chowder is desired, incorporate slurry and allow chowder to simmer 1 additional minute. Serve in a shallow bowl garnished with fresh chives.