Chatham Pier Fish Market Classic New England Clam Chowder


3 strips thick-cut bacon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 rib celery, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups bottled clam juice, divided
1 pound chopped fresh clam meat, with juices
Kosher salt to taste
3 cups light cream
1 teaspoon white pepper


Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pot, and crumble into small pieces; set aside. Add the butter, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the potatoes. In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. Turning back to the onion/bacon mixture, increase the heat to medium-low. Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until a thick paste forms. Stir and cook 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the bottled clam juice, 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes and clam meat with its juices. Keep stirring 5 minutes, until the clams are tender. Add the cream slowly; then stir in the white pepper. Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.


8 to 10 servings

Preparation Time

45 Minutes

Total Time

75 Minutes

Leave a Comment