New England Clam Chowder

Stirrin' It Up: New England Clam Chowder (Sept. 22, 2022).
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 3:42 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The word chowder comes from the old English word jowter, a word for a fish peddler. There are many different versions of clam chowders based on location: in New England, it’s a hearty soup of shellfish with potato, thickened with roux. While in Manhattan, it is a red, tomato-based brothy soup with no milk. The Rhode Island version contains clear broth with no dairy or tomato. The most interesting is the Long Island Clam Chowder which is the combination of New England and Manhattan-a pinkish, creamy tomato chowder. The two “parent chowders” are typically cooked separately before being poured into the same bowl. Maybe try all of them and see which is your favorite!

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 8 Servings


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

Oyster crackers for serving


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.

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