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Real Boston Clam Chowda


Hello All!  And welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun!

A great place to find and share some great FREE food ideas, to be prepared and shared with family and friends, to bring a lot of fun, joy and great taste into all our lives.  I’m so glad you have found your way here.  Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome!

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Ok, on to today’s recipe.  This one requires a huge shout out to Chef Tom Grady from Boston, MA.  On a trip of mine to Boston, we met by chance when I went down to dinner.  I told him about my blog and he said he’d share a recipe of his that he used in the restaurant where he worked.  I had to cut the recipe down a bit, but MAN, that’s great chowda!  With the weather changing to a bit of a cooler temperature, soups can once again go on the menu.  Be sure to pick up some oyster crackers to drop on the top of your bowl.  You’ve got to try this one!

Real Boston Clam Chowda


  • 2 thick slices of bacon (or 4 slices of regular bacon)
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 3 stalks celery, diced small
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • white wine
  • 1 quart clam juice
  • 1 pound fresh chopped clams (canned in ok where you can’t get fresh)
  • 2 large yukon potatoes, peeled and diced medium
  • roux = 4 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped


Do all the dicing first.  Cut the onions, celery and peel and cut the potatoes.  Make sure that the dice is all the same size for even cooking and presentation.  Cover the potatoes in water to prevent discoloration.  Be sure to drain them completely before adding.

Dice the thick cut bacon strips.  It helps if you put them in the freezer for a few minutes beforehand.

Heat a large stockpot and start to brown the diced bacon over medium heat.  Browning is fine, but don’t burn them.

Add the onions.  You want to cook to translucent, but no browning.  We don’t want color.  Add the celery.  Don’t over cook the celery.  Just get it cooking a bit so everything in the pot is hot.  Add the 2 tablespoons of butter.  Be sure you’re stirring everything around to prevent any burning.

Now cover with white wine (its usually quite a bit of wine).  Reduce until almost dry.

Add the clam juice.  Reduce by half over medium heat, never boiling.

Prepare the roux while reducing above.  This will be your thickening agent and once its added all reducing will stop.  Melt the 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan and then add the 4 tablespoons of flour, using a whisk to mix.  This needs to cook for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste, but do not brown the roux.  Keep it warm until adding.

Add the pound of clams and their juice to the stockpot.  Add the potatoes.  Cook for a few minutes to get them slightly tender before the next step.

Turn up the heat a little and add the roux with your whisk.  The extra heat will help the process of incorporating the roux so there is no clumping.  Technically, you should temper the roux with some of the liquid from the stockpot before adding but you should be ok if the soup is hot enough.

Add the heavy cream and stir.  Add the bay leaves and cook for about 15 more minutes.  Turn the heat down a little to a simmer…not boiling.

Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  Be sure to use a pepper mill.  Be generous with the pepper!

Time to enjoy the Chowda!!  For true Boston style, add some oyster crackers over your bowl of chowda.  Enjoy!

Other variations:  You can also add leeks or fennel to this recipe (same dice as the celery)

I’d love to hear from you!  Please let me know how these recipes work for you by using the comment box below.  Or if you’d like, send me an email at foodflavorfun@foodflavorfun.com.

I hope you’ll come back often and try many of the great recipes available.  Tell you friends about the site!  Help me spread the word about Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun!

Bye for now!

Categories : Soups and Salads

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