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The Hirshon New England Clam Chowder

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours


  • Steam 46+ pounds of manilla clams in large container until open, in a mix of 2/3 water, 1/3 Chardonnay (about 12 inches of liquid) with additional chopped parsley (2 tablespoons, chopped), celery leaves (2 tablespoons, chopped), a little fresh tarragon (about 1/2 teaspoon, chopped) and fresh thyme (1 tablespoon). SAVE clam broth!
  • Remove clams right after they open. Remove clams from shells.
  • Add bottled clam juice (I like Snow’s of Maine), if needed, to clam broth to make one quart – if more than one quart of broth, boil it down to 1 quart. Boil 1 quart of diced potatoes in 1 quart clam broth until potatoes are nearly done.
  • Dice 3 slices of bacon (best if you can get slab bacon and dice into small cubes, eyeball it to about the equivalent of 3 slices). Fry until moderately crisp.
  • Cut 3 medium-sized onions into a small dice and fry in bacon fat until translucent.
  • Add entire contents of pan with bacon and onions to mixture of potatoes and clam juice. Add clams and cook until tender.
  • When ready, add 1 quart heavy cream, cook to boiling boil and add in 1 TBS. potato or corn starch (2 if you prefer a thicker chowder) mixed with an equal amount of melted butter and previously cooked over a high heat. Immediately remove broth from heat and stir thoroughly.
  • Ladle into bowls and add small pat of butter if you like to the top of each bowl. Add pepper to taste, plus add a touch of fresh chopped chervil and thyme to each bowl. Also great served with common or oyster crackeys crushed into the broth.
  • Serve right away or any time. Warmed up the next day, it tastes even better.

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