Homemade New England Clam Chowder
Growing up in New England, clam chowder is a right of passage. Every New Englander has their favorite place to go for their favorite style of chowder. Thin or thick stock, potato chunks with skin on or off, bacon or no bacon, the list could go on. I always stop by my go to chowder spots when visiting family on Cape Cod. It’s a must have indulgence when I visit. Loaded with salty crackers and a cold beverage, I know I’m on vacation. I’m on the team for thick stock, peeled potato chunks and bacon, I’m always on board for bacon.
My kitchen helper and I make a lot of sweet treats but I wanted to introduce him to a savory dish with ingredients he hasn’t tried before. That’s what Make & Taste is all about, learning about new ingredients and appreciating where food comes from. On our regular trip to the local fish market, I picked up some quahogs, which is a larger clam that is usually used in chowder. He was interested in what the item was, but wasn’t a fan of the seafood smell that came along with the ingredient. This dish also allowed him to work on peeling potatoes and picking rosemary leaves off the stem. There are a lot of fine motor skill opportunities with this dish.
New England clam chowder isn’t complete without salty crackers, so we made our own rustic olive oil sea salt cracker to enjoy with our chowder. The simple and delicious recipe will be posted on Thursday, just in time to make this weekend!
- 2 Pounds - Fresh chopped Quahogs Clams, (reserve clam juice) (or 4 pounds of full clams in shell)
- 4 Slices - Thick Cut Bacon, chopped
- 2 - Onions, medium 1/2" diced cut
- 2 Cloves - Garlic, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons - Unsalted Butter
- 2 Large Stalks - Celery 1/2" pieces
- 2 Pounds - Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2" dice
- 2 Teaspoons - Fresh Thyme
- 2 Dried Bay Leaves
- 1 1/2 Cups - Heavy Cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- If using whole Quahog clams you will want to fill a pot with 4 cups of water and cook the clams until they open (8-10 minutes)
- Remove the clams and set aside in a bowl. Filter the water/clam juice through a coffee filter lined sieve. Set aside
- Once the clams are cool to the touch, remove the clam meat from the shell and chop to desired size. Set aside
- In a large pot, render the bacon until crispy and brown. Remove from the pot and set aside
- Add the butter, onion, celery and garlic to the bacon grease in the large pot. Cook until the onions before translucent
- Add the peeled and chopped potatoes, clam broth, type and bay leaves. Simmer for 20 minutes
- If you purchased fresh pre-chopped clams, add them with the heavy cream, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 or until the clams are cooked.
- If you cooked the clams, step 1, then just add the clams, heavy cream and salt/pepper to taste. Mix and serve with your favorite salty cracker
Nicole is a professional photographer, mother to an energetic child, and founder of Make and Taste. She has been a Commercial, Editorial and Lifestyle photographer for 10 years and has been published in various magazines and brand websites. Nicole is passionate about providing her child with meaningful experiences and documenting all of the fun along the way. You can always find her baking with her 7 year old and enjoying a good cup of coffee.