Chunky Clam Chowder

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by Amy Flanigan on January 19, 2012 · 16 comments

(This recipe was originally posted a few years ago, but it’s worth further attention in case you missed it!)

It was a little slow coming this year, but I would say winter is finally here.

This is my second winter back in California, after living in Minnesota. And I can officially say, my body has acclimated to the weather. And I think it’s cold. Yes, the high is 55. But when I wake up it’s 32. And technically, that’s freezing. Which is what I am – freezing.

But don’t feel too bad for me (as if!)…I’m making my favorite clam chowder. Perfected over the years, my friends. I love it so much, that I have a hard time eating anyone else’s version, and I won’t even consider ordering it in a restaurant.

My cockles are already warmer just thinking about it.

Chunky Clam Chowder
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

• 2 cans of whole clams, drained, reserving the juice in another bowl
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup diced salt pork
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 large or 3 medium potatoes, diced
• 3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
• 2 bay leaves
• white pepper to taste
• chowder crackers for garnish

In a large pot, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the salt pork and stir until it is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Add the flour and stir for another 2 minutes. Stir in the clam juice, potatoes, milk, and bay leaves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves and season with the pepper. Add the clams and cook for 1 minute longer to warm them through. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with some crackers.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Raven September 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

Yum, salted pork! That sounds delicious, will definitely have to try this recipe soon, thanks!


Eliana January 26, 2012 at 8:12 am

Looks so hearty and delicious and just perfect for this time of year.


PBSwine January 24, 2012 at 5:22 am

Your recipe looks great, but where do you find cans of whole clams? I’ve only ever seen minced or chopped clams in cans?


Amy January 24, 2012 at 7:21 am

I usually buy Chicken of the Sea, Baby Whole Clams in 10 ounce cans…in my market they’re right next to the minced and chopped clams. I think Target carries them also if you have one near you.


Joanne January 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Until you run in 20 degree weather, I don’t want to hear a PEEP out of you! Okay, yes, I’m a glutton for punishment. You can peep now if you want to.

Clam chowder is another fish thing that I just won’t give up. This sounds delightful!


Jen January 20, 2012 at 10:16 am

It was 22 here a few weeks ago, and I ran in the freezing temps two mornings in a row. I know it wasn’t Amy, but I’m her sister…does that count??? :o)


Amy January 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

You both craaazy.


Rachel @ Baked by Rachel January 19, 2012 at 10:33 am

Looks fantastic! I haven’t made clam chowder in a while. I should definitely add it to the list. :)


the wicked noodle January 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

Sigh…I miss California. But I love Virginia, so it’s all good. And I’m pretty sure I’m gonna love this chowder, too.


Andrea January 19, 2012 at 9:23 am

We started the day at -11 and we’re all the way up to -3, with a wind chill of -19. I’m not complaining! The sun is shining, heat rises (my office is upstairs), the days are getting longer, and we’ve had temps in the 40s for most of the month. In Minnesota! This recipe looks fantastic, Amy, and I don’t even have much attachment to clam chowder! I will keep it in mind for Lent.


Amy January 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I always thought the winters were a cruel joke…so sunny, but bone cold. I’ve heard it’s been mild (relatively speaking). Niiice.


Jenna January 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

And by 52, I mean 55. =)


Jenna January 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

Mmmmm! I love a good, chunky clam chowder. And winter has hit here too–though 52 sounds like springtime to me! The low this evening in Chicago is 9 degrees. Whoa. At least it’s not windy (so far) . . .


Sandi January 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

Feel sorry for you? NOT!! It’s 18 here this morning! I wonder how well this would fare in a crock pot? If I kept it on low. My crock pot is becoming my BFF!


Amy January 19, 2012 at 7:49 am

I know, I know *hangs head in shame*…hey, it’s all relative! I wouldn’t attempt this in the crock, but again, this is my baby. No messin’ with my baby ;-)


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