Recipe: Clam Chowder

a batch of clam chowder I made in early September 2010. I live for this recipe.

a batch of clam chowder I made in early September 2010. I live for this recipe.

Have I seriously neglected to include this amazing dish on my blog?

This amazing dish that is best served not in a dish, but in a bowl made of bread?


This food, like iced tea, has been there for me on all my adventures. How could I forget it? Its like forgetting underpants.

The best Clam Chowder I ever had was actually at the SeaTac airport in a bar. I’m certain I was underage. Positive of it. But I had a rum and Coke anyway. Matt must have ordered it for me. He did that sometimes.

Matt was there; we were dating (This is how I know I was underage; I was 20 when we got married). This was before the stresses of parenting; while I was still in college and had big dreams for myself of taking over for Barbara Walters on 20/20…this was when I was still a size 6.

Four years later I had more fabulous clam chowder; this time Matt and I were on our only vacation ever–EVER. It was in Flathead Lake, Montana. Again at a bar. Again in a sour dough bread bowl. I was no longer underage or a size 6. I had just finished taping my final morning show for the CBS affiliate and had accepted a faculty position at the local college teaching all of their journalism courses. I no longer dreamed of replacing Barbara Walters, but helping someone else do that. I had other things on my mind–like my 1 year old baby, Logan. And getting back to a size 6.

I ate clam chowder every day for a week in Flathead Lake, Montana. It was good. I got no closer to being a size 6 as a result. But it was good. Very, very good.


Today I am making Clam Chowder from scratch. And it is going to Rawk. Not sure yet where I’ll find the bread bowls (I don’t have a sour dough starter or I’d make them myself, too! Next time…) but if you don’t serve it in a sourdough bread bowl, it just isn’t clam chowder.

This recipe comes from and has a nearly perfect rating; I’ve added a few modifications based on reviews on the recipe.


  • 3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart half-and-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: a few slices of bacon–for flavoring the onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, clams in the grease


  1. Cook up about 6 spices of bacon, set aside the bacon leaving the grease.
  2. Saute the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots in the bacon grease.
  3. Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Add water to cover (if needed…unlikely), and cook over medium heat until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice and bacon pieces. Heat through, but do not boil.
  5. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.