This clam chowder recipe would make any New Englander happy. Serve it on a rainy day.

New England Clam Chowder

This clam chowder recipe would make any New Englander happy. Serve it on a rainy day.


  • 5 dozen littleneck clams
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large white onion, medium dice
  • 2 stalks celery, medium dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 oz pancetta or salt pork, medium dice
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbsp flour ((All-Purpose))
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 russet potatoes (cut in ½” cubes)
  • 16 oz heavy cream
  • 10 oz whole milk
  • 1 oz finely chopped chives (for garnish)


  • Quickly clean and scrub the exterior of each clam under cold water in the sink, rinsing off to remove excess sand.
  • Discard any clams with broken shells or clams that are open.
  • Reserve cleaned clams in refrigerator.
  • Bring 1 cup of white wine and thyme sprigs to a simmer in the bottom of the wide-bottomed pan with a lid.
  • When the liquid reaches a simmer, add your 5 dozen clams and cover with a lid
  • Allowing to steam for 4-5 minutes.
  • Check the clams
  • Remove any clams that have already opened and set these aside.
  • Cover the pan again and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Until almost all of the clams have opened.
  • Set these open clams aside with the others.
  • If there are any clams that do not open after cooking for an extended period of time, discard.
  • Strain your cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer covered in cheesecloth.
  • This helps to ensure that excess sand particles aren’t making their way into the food.
  • Remove the clams from their open shells and discard the shells.
  • Reserve the cooked clam meat in the fridge.
  • Render pancetta or salt pork in a small amount of vegetable oil
  • Remove pork when cooked but not overly crispy
  • Reserve on a paper towel to drain.
  • Cook your onions
  • Celery on low heat in your rendered pork fat
  • Add 1 Tbsp butter as the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes.
  • Add your minced garlic and sweat for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Add milk, heavy cream, and bay leaves to the mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • In a separate small nonstick pan, melt 4 Tbsp butter and combine with 6 Tbsp flour
  • Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Cook until the mixture turns a pale golden color.
  • Whisk this flour and butter mixture into the simmering milk and cream mixture
  • Making sure to remove any lumps.
  • Cook for an additional 15 minutes at a simmer.
  • Add the diced potato and cooked pancetta from earlier.
  • Cook until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.
  • Stir in the chopped dill and chopped parsley
  • Serve in warmed bowls with crusty buttered bread.
  • Garnish chowder in bowls with finely chopped chives.


The addition of some leftover mashed potatoes during the final stage of cooking is delicious and can thicken your chowder even more.
This recipe re-heats very well, and is often better the next day.
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