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New England Clam Chowder


This creamy clam chowder uses quahog clams.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 1996


  • 6 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled to remove strings and cut into 1/4 dice
  • 1 cup small pearl onion, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsalted clam juice
  • 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 pounds quahog clams, shucked, liquid reserved, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (2 pounds shucked clams)
  • 2 fresh ears yellow corn, kernels removed
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons dry sherry, (optional)


  1. In a stockpot, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel, and set aside; discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add celery and onions; saute, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until translucent, about 7 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Add clam juice, 1/2 cup water, potatoes, bay leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper; cover; bring to a boil. Pick thyme leaves from stems; add both leaves and stems to pot. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until potatoes are almost fork tender, about 12 minutes.

  3. Add clams and reserved liquid, cover, and cook 4 minutes over medium heat. Add corn kernels, cover, and cook 4 to 6 minutes. Add milk and butter; cook until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems; add remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and salt.

  4. Drizzle with sherry, and garnish with bacon pieces. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Sauteing the vegetables in the bacon drippings gives this thick chowder extra flavor.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Byzcook
    18 NOV, 2008
    Yummy! My substitutions (due mainly to what was on hand) shallot (approx 2 oz), no fresh thyme so use a "seafood herb blend" that looked sorta fresh (not 100 years old!), added a finely diced carrot along with red potatoes, no corn, 2 cups milk, 3/4 c half