Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright

Clarissa's Clam Chowder

This creamy, milk-based New England chowder (or "chowdah" to Boston locals) is filled with chunks of potato, bacon for salty flavor and plenty of fresh clams. Get your oyster crackers ready for serving and don't even think about including tomatoes; this isn't Manhattan.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 pints (1 quart or 4 cups) fresh clams

8 ounces speck di proscuitto or other interesting bacon, cut into small pieces

3 small onions, finely diced

1 1/2 pints (3 cups) boiling water

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

Black pepper, freshly ground

1 1/2 pints (3 cups) milk

Crumbled crackers, to serve


  1. Shuck the clams or steam them open using a little white wine. Keep all the liquor from the shells.
  2. In a heavy frying pan slowly fry the bacon and onions until golden; transfer to a saucepan. Add the boiling water, potatoes and pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the clams, with their liquor, and the milk. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 1 hour.
  3. Just before serving, reheat the chowder. Ladle into bowls over crumbled crackers. You can get rid of alot of anger by putting your packets of crackers in a plastic bag and throwing them on the floor repeatedly, until they reach the required state of crumb. Or stamp on them, says my friend Claire Macdonald.

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