CLAM CHOWDER (New England Style)

Recipe by Alan Leonetti
READY IN: 1hr 15mins




  • In a large stockpot bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add clams, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover, quickly stir clams with a wooden spoon and cover again.
  • Continue to cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, until most of the clams are opened.
  • Transfer clams to a large bowl and strain the broth twice through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth into another bowl, being careful to strain out the sand and grit.
  • You should now have about 6 cups of clam broth.
  • If not, add enough water to make it 6 cups.
  • When clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Set clams and broth aside.
  • In a large heavy pot, cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered.
  • Pour off all, except 2 tablespoons, of the bacon fat.
  • Add the butter, onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook until vegetables are completely wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown.
  • Add the potatoes and the reserved clam broth and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until broth slightly thickens and the potatoes are very tender.
  • If you prefer a thicker broth, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the clams and heavy whipping cream, and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Set aside for 1 hour, to allow all of the flavors to thoroughly blend.
  • Place the pot over low heat and slowly reheat, being careful not to bring to a boil.
  • Serve hot, garnished with 1 or 2 pats of butter and some chopped scallions.