New England Clam Chowder

November 29, 2010 § 9 Comments


Want a break from turkey leftovers? How about a nice bowl of chowda to go along with the cold temperature we’ve been having in San Diego (brrrrr)? Ever since my cup of New England Clam Chowder from Studio Diner, I’ve been craving for more. The ones I make at home typically has 2 ingredients: can opener and a can of clam chowder. Let’s admit it, that canned stuff can be pretty good, and easy. I’ve played around with a few recipes trying to come up with a decent homemade version. The favorite so far, surprisingly (or not), has been the simplest. Not as simple as the canned stuff but you know what I mean. This recipe is also fairly quick, in about an hour or less. It can feed 5 hungry people, more if serving as an appetizer. It also reheats well, even better the next day.

The roux does a fairly good job at thickening the broth but I like my chowder slightly thicker than what this recipe makes. But since the Mister likes his a bit on the thinner side, I’ve left it as such. I’ve yet to try the mashing of some of the potatoes method which I’ve read helps thicken the soup but maybe next time. Sometimes I’ll change it up a little and add some fresh thyme leaves and/or a bay leaf or 2. I like a lot of clams in my clam chowder so I used 6 cans (10 oz each) of chopped clams. Some recipes calls for minced clams but I like clams that are a bit larger. I freeze any leftover clam juice to be used for another dish (e.g., linguine and clams).

I think most people like potato in their chowder, as we do. But the amount is a personal preference. Since I love potatoes, I don’t mind when there’s a lot of it. I had 4 white potatoes and decided to just use them all versus having a single lonely potato. Of course if you’re one that prefer just a hint of potato, feel free to change up the amount of potato to clams ratio. You might need to adjust the cooking time down a little if using less potato. I also like to use white potato instead of Russet potato. Red potato is good as well since both red and white hold up better in stews and chowders.

BTW, garlic bread goes wonderfully with this. The Mister loves his oyster crackers but Texas garlic toast is always the first choice if we have it. Also several dashes of Habanero Tabasco sauce is a must in our house!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small chopped onion 
  • 3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes, about 1/2″ cubes (about 3 medium white potatoes)
  • salt ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 5-6 (10 oz) cans chopped clams, drained, reserving liquid (need about 3 cups)
  • A dash or so Worcestershire sauce


Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until almost crisp. Remove bacon, set aside.

Add onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. While onion is cooking, make the roux.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour, whisk and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add in milk while whisking, making sure to whisk out any lumps. Cook  another 2 minutes.

Note: If the roux becomes lumpy, put the roux into a blender, add the cream, and mix on medium speed to get rid of any lumps. Then pour the contents into the stock pot with the clam juice.

Add clam juice and heavy cream to stock pot.  Slowly whisk in roux mixture. Add potatoes and reserved bacon. Add Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

Stir in clams. Simmer for about 5 minutes to heat through. Serve with some oyster crackers or crusty bread.


§ 9 Responses to New England Clam Chowder

  • Kirbie says:

    Mmm, clam chowder sounds perfect with the chilly weather we’ve been having. And I just realized I have all these ingredients. I’ll have to make some soon.

    • CAB says:

      Hi Kirbie! It sure has been cold lately. I think that’s why I like this recipe since I usually have all the ingredients on hand. It can be made with only milk too, just won’t be as rich.

  • hi – what brand of clams do you use?

    i’ve tried snows but only when they’re on sale at cvs. their clam pieces are bigger and meatier than the other brand (i think it’s prince albert or something). not so good, that brand.

    they used to have really good canned clams at trader joes (.99 a can too) but those were, sadly, discontinued.

    if you have another brand to recommend, please let me know. i’d love to make your recipe. both my husband and daughter would love it. especially since it has bacon. 🙂

    • CAB says:

      Hi CC! Hope you and the family had a great Thanksgiving. I typically buy Snow brand and I agree that it seems to have larger size clams, there used to be a brand (can’t remember the name) that came in a larger can that looked liked hand chopped but I haven’t seen it in over a year. If I find it againM I’ll let you know.

  • oh, the yuckier brand was crown prince (not prince albert). i bought a bigger can at an asian store but didn’t like it. forgot the brand but the can was red. the clams were too metallic tasting. snows is the best.

    • CAB says:

      I looked up what the other brand I liked and it was Doxsee. Which turns out to be the exactly as Snow’s. Guess it’s like Best vs. Hellman mayonnaise.

  • where can i find Doxsee?

  • CAB says:

    They don’t make the doxsee brand anymore since the mfg said it confuses customers. Snow’s and Doxsee are the exact same thing made buy the same people just under a different label. Explains why I haven’t seen doxsee for a long time now.

  • okay, thanks! snows it is then!

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