New England Clam Chowder

New England (Boston-style) Clam Chowder



If you’re from New England, you know about Clam Chowder.  No tomatoes here.  This is a simple recipe using canned clams, so no shucking involved, unless you want to of course.  Bacon is an important ingredient here, a good quality, smoky one would be an excellent choice.  I get mine from a local butcher.  Depending on the saltiness of the bacon, you may or may not want to add extra salt.  Like the shucking, it’s up to you.  I used two different kinds of clams, baby and ocean chopped, which gave it a really nice texture between the two.  All diced items should be about a 1/2” dice.  If you like thinner chowder, add the water, if not, leave it out.  This is excellent on a cold winter‘s night, with a good ale or even Guinness, and don’t forget the soda or oyster crackers on the side.


6 slices good smoky bacon, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

5-6 potatoes, diced

½ cup water

1 cup milk

1 cup cream (half & half works well, or 18% table cream is even better)

1½ cups mixed, canned clams, drained, reserve liquid.  (Baby and/or ocean, chopped in the latter case.)

Salt and pepper to taste.


Saute bacon until brown, but not crunchy.  Remove the bacon and set aside.  Add the onions and celery to the drippings, and sauté until the onion is starting to turn golden.  Add the potatoes, cook for a minute or two, then add the reserved clam juice.  Cook until the potato is tender.  Add the cooked bacon, milk and cream, heat through.  Add the clams, and heat just until hot, you don’t want to overcook them.  Adjust for your seasonings, and serve.