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Wicked Good Clam Chowdah

  • Serving
    4 People
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Family Story

Up until about 10 years ago, my Dad (now 95) used to go digging for clams in the summer at our cozy cottage in Friendship, Maine--he'd disappears for hours at a time--to bring back the most delicious mollusks from Muscongus Bay which we steam and dip in butter, or marinate with gin, clam juice, and apple cider vinegar for soused clams (an excellent garnish for an extra dry martini!) or make into a chowder. From one of his last hauls, Dad sent me back to New York with the best gift of all--juicy clams he had dug up, vacuum-sealed and frozen. Although I started with a delicious recipe from my father, I believe we are to take recipes and adapt them into something of our own along the way, as we pass them down. I think the extra time spent making this clam chowdah ended up being another wonderful Down Maine version that I'd be proud to serve in Friendship.


1 Step

Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy and remove, saving the fat (chop bacon when manageable). Add shallots, garlic, and red onion into this, with a tablespoon of butter and sautee for about 5 minutes. Add clam liquor, potatoes and thyme with 1-2 cups lobster stock and simmer at low heat to create a broth.

2 Step

Rapidly reduce 3 cups lobster stock over medium-high heat in a separate pan. When this 3 cups of lobster stock has reduced to 2 cups, whip 2 tb butter into it with a wire whisk and continue to simmer down to 1 cup.

3 Step

Add reduced stock into broth mixture with chopped clams, crispy bacon and let it all get to know each other until simmering nicely. Pour in cold milk and bring to heat but do not boil. (The 2% milk or even fat free evaporated skim milk is a trimmer substitute for the usual fattening cream found in chowders!)

4 Step

Throw in some freshly ground black pepper and some white pepper to finish it off and let your chowder sit off heat for at least an hour before reheating and serving. May be refrigerated up to 2 days.


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