This easy creamy clam chowder recipe remains my favorite! I try all different recipes for creamy clam chowder but I keep coming back to this one!
Living in New England has its perks: beautiful foliage, cool accents, Maine Lobsters, delish seafood and … clam chowder! Or as Bostonians would say, “clam chowdah”. Everyone has a favorite recipe. My brother in law has perfected his; in fact, I had some this past weekend at a family lobster and clam bake.
But woowee, is his recipe labor intensive! My recipe is easy. Hence the name, easy creamy clam chowder! Someday, maybe I’ll share his recipe, but that’s a post for another day. I’m here today to talk about my easy recipe.
I love clam chowder, so much so, that I won’t get it in a restaurant unless I know it is good. I hate to be disappointed by a watery bowl of a tasteless chowder wannabe.
When I make clam chowder, it’s usually either for a dinner party or just for myself because dear ol’ hub Christopher is lactose intolerant and he won’t touch the stuff.
When I was growing up, my parents had my three sisters and me help them make the chowder (read: do the grunt work) and I remember they used quahogs and salt pork. Also labor intensive, but still good. I remember shucking the quahogs and cutting up the meat and the salt pork. That was messy and greasy work but worth it in the long run because, well, I love clam chowder.
I tried to come up with a recipe close to how we used to have it as children and this one is pretty darn close. At least in my memory.
There aren’t a lot of ingredients; just 8 different things. See? Just as I say, easy!
You start off cutting up the onion, potatoes, celery and carrots. Then you put them all in a big pan with some clam juice and let it simmer. Once the veggies are tender, set them aside. I check it with a fork, and by checking it, I mean stabbing a carrot and potato and shoving it in my open maw. 🙂
Now it’s time to work on the roux. I put the butter in a deep pan and melt that, being careful not to scorch or burn it. Then you add the flour in stages and whisk it until it becomes a paste. In the photo below, it looks brown and indeed it was but that’s because instead of white flour, I used spelt. I have also used whole wheat in the past but I prefer a white chowder.
Because, I love chowder. It bears repeating.
Next, in goes the half and half, whisking it all the while. That part is the most labor intensive because of the whisking, but it doesn’t take long – 5 to 10 minutes tops.
I say the thicker the better. I’m not fond of a watery chowder. I like mine thick. Mmmmmm. And although I love chowder crackers, I prefer a piece of bread with my easy creamy clam chowder. I just flashed onto a memory of when I was growing up and what I used to do with some saltine crackers. I would put butter on them and float them on the chowder and then dunk them under so the butter melted in and the cracker got soggy. Then I would spoon the whole soggy mess into my mouth. Yummers!
But back to the present. After you reach the right consistency, you take the pan of cooked vegetables in the clam broth and pour the whole thing in the roux mixture. Then I add the cans of chopped clams. Mix it all in with a wooden spoon or spatula and let it heat for 5 more minutes, being careful not to boil the chowder. You don’t want rubbery clams.
Voila! You are done. Now all you need to do is serve it and eat it all up. 🙂
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.Print
This easy creamy clam chowder satisfies the palate while being a quick and delicious appetizer or meal!
- 3 carrots, cut in desired shape
- 1 large onion, chopped medium
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced and cut in half again
- 2 – 3 potatoes, I used yukon gold, cut in cubes
- 2 cans chopped clams
- 1 bottle (8 fluid ounces) clam juice
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 pint half and half
- Cut all your vegetables
- Place in big sauté pan
- Open cans of clams, drain the juice IN the sauté pan
- Add the bottle of clam juice in the pan as well
- Bring vegetable mixture to a boil, then lower heat to allow it to simmer
- Check vegetables after 20 minutes to see if done (tender)
- When done, remove from heat and set aside
- In stock pot, melt the butter on medium heat
- Slowly add the flour and whisk until it becomes a paste
- Add half and half and whisk constantly until the roux reaches your desired consistency (for me, thicker is better)
- Pour vegetable/clam juice mixture in roux
- Add clams
- Stir mixture and set it to heat for another 5 minutes
- Serving Size: 8 ounces
- Calories: 259