New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Recipe courtesy of Skipjack’s restaurant in Boston. The original recipe calls for shucked fresh clams in their chowder; this version substitutes canned clams, which are easier to find in most stores and require less prep work. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired. If you like, you can add a little fresh or dried thyme along with the veggies and bay leaf. A quick dash of Worcestershire sauce is also a nice addition. I garnished my chowder with some chopped fresh chives and some crispy salt pork (substituted in place of the bacon).

Yield: Makes 8 (first-course) or 4 (main-course) servings.


  • Three 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves (about 2 large stalks)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Six  6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved
  • 1 1/4 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.)