New England Clam Chowder Recipe with Fresh Steamed Clams

When it's cold out then it's soup time in my house, and this huge pot of New England Clam Chowder with Fresh Steamed Clams hit the spot!
Course Soup
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 20
Author Chef Billy Parisi


For the Chowder:

  • 1 pound of sliced thick cut bacon
  • 2 peeled and small diced yellow onions
  • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of medium diced celery
  • 1 ¼ cups to 1 ½ cups of flour
  • ½ cup of cream cherry
  • 64 ounces each of clam and chicken stock
  • 40 ounces of chopped clams in juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds each medium diced red and russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • Kosher salt white pepper, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce to taste

For the Clams:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 15 little-neck clams
  • 1 cup of chardonnay wine
  • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste


  • In a very large pot over medium heat, render the bacon.
  • Once brown remove the bacon and about ½ cup of the bacon fat.
  • Add in the onions, garlic and celery and sweat for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour until combined
  • Next pour in the sherry, clams, clam stock, chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil or until thick.
  • Once thick, add in the potatoes, thyme, cream, ½ of the cooked bacon and seasonings and simmer over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Keep warm.
  • Clams: Add oil the a medium size saute pan over high heat and add in the clams and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Flames may appear as there will be water leaking out from the clams into the oil – turn down the heat if this happens.
  • Add in the wine, garlic and thyme and cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on high heat or until the clams open.
  • Finish the clams with butter, parsley, salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Pour a bowl of chowder and garnish with cooked clams, fresh thyme leaves, chopped parsley, cooked bacon, oyster crackers and red pepper flakes.