New England Style Clam Chowder

One of the favorite dishes aboard Rocinante is a big bowl of our hearty, New England Style Clam Chowder and a hunk of our fresh, Homemade Bread!  Like so many of our favorite meals, it was born of necessity… we had dawdled a bit too long heading south and it was getting downright cold.  Scrounging around in the galley cabinets, I found a can of clams buried deep in the back – Yes, Chowder!  So, I ran to our tiny little fridge and as fortune would have it, we had a bit of milk left and we always have potatoes and onions on hand, to say nothing of butter and bacon!  Although I will confess, one time I ran out of onions and made this using a jar of cocktail onions… seriously, it came out great!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

3 slices of bacon
2 tbl salted butter
1/2 large Vidalia Onion
2 tsp AP flour
1 cup of whole milk
1 bay leaf
2 medium red potatoes
6.5 oz of clams (Snows /Bumble Bee), canned
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (see photo)
1/2 cup of heavy cream



Cut bacon into small strips – slice lengthwise and then into 1/2″ pieces
Dice onion – about 1 1/2 cups worth
Cut potatoes into 1/2″ cubes
Cut a 2 tbl size pat of butter and set aside
Measure out 2 tsp of flour and set aside
Measure out 1 cup of milk and set aside
Open canned clams and set aside – Do not discard the liquid!


Build Chowder base

Place your sauce pan over low heat and slowly render the bacon pieces until they are just starting to crisp – about 15 minutes
Add the 2 tbl of butter along with the diced onions and sauté until translucent – about 5 minutes
Add the 2 tsp of flour, mixing well and cook for another 2-3 minutes – you’re not looking for any color like in a traditional roux; you just want to get rid of the raw flour taste and have it absorb into the oil.


Bring it home

Add the reserved liquid from the canned clams, a cup of milk, bay leaf and potatoes
Season with 1/4 tsp of salt and a good amount of coarsely ground black pepper (you’ll adjust later)
Increase the heat in order to bring the chowder to a boil and then immediately reduce to barely a simmer
Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally (around every 3 minutes or so) – the potatoes should be tender… if not cook a little longer.
BTW, the chowder will look like it’s separating – that’s normal.

Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and the clams to the chowder, bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes (no more than that or the clams start to get rubbery)

Serve and enjoy!