Bob’s Bacon Potato Clam Chowder

Bob’s Bacon Potato Clam Chowder, a classic New England recipe, makes a comforting, delicious meal for the whole family! Bacon renders, then an onion cooks in the rendered fat. Add flour and butter to create a roux, then add clam juice and whole clams! When the mixture thickens, add milk, potatoes and water. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Perfect for any season, this chowder sings of the sea.

Hand holding a spoon over two bowls of Bacon Potato Clam Chowder

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CLAM CHOWDAH.

It’s not really a recipe us born-and-bred inland Southerners know a lot about. In fact, I’d never tried it until we traveled to Cape Cod for a wedding a few years back.

It’s not a thing from where I’m from. (See: Landlocked state with no fresh seafood options… even though those options are getting better and better by the day!)

So when it was suggested that we make Clam Chowder when we were visiting Memphis this summer, I agreed … assuming someone knew how to make it.

I KNOW, I know. Ridiculous.

Two bowls of Bob's Bacon Potato Clam Chowder on wood table

Luckily for us, my mom’s boyfriend, Bob, knows a little something about Clam Chowder.

In fact, he knows a ton about it because he made it in restaurant kitchens for years… and he showed me how to make his Bacon Potato Clam Chowder.

Unsurprisingly, it’s really good.

Overhead shot of spoonful of Clam Chowder

Bob’s food philosophy is similar to my own: He’s not shy about using full-flavor and fat ingredients, though if there’s a lower fat shortcut he can use, he’ll do it… so long as the flavor is still on point.

So this Clam Chowder recipe? It doesn’t call for heavy cream like so many chowder recipes do.

That said, this chowder still delightfully decadent, delicious and something I’ve been craving ever since the weather is less than 90° in Dallas. (Yes, I’m a cooler weather soup person because I now live on the surface of the sun, AKA North Texas, where summer will never end.)

Overhead picture of 2 bowls of clam chowder on wood table

Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Bob’s Bacon Potato Clam Chowder

Now who’s ready for some CHOWDAH?

Here’s how we made Bob’s classic recipe:

Overhead shot of spoonful of Clam Chowder
Yield: 8 servings

Bob’s Bacon Potato Clam Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Bob’s Bacon Potato Clam Chowder, a classic New England recipe, makes a comforting, delicious meal for the whole family! Bacon renders, then an onion cooks in the rendered fat. Add flour and butter to create a roux, then add clam juice and whole clams! When the mixture thickens, add milk, potatoes and water. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Perfect for any season, this chowder sings of the sea.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bacon, chopped fine
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 lbs. chopped clams (fresh or frozen; if frozen, these must be defrosted)
  • 8 oz. clam juice
  • 1 qt. 2% milk
  • 2 russet potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces and cooked until al dente
  • 12 oz. water
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, render the bacon.
  2. Once the bacon has rendered, remove the meat. (We won’t use this in our recipe, but if you want, you can let it drain on a paper towel and use as a garnish with the chowder is finished.) Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add the onion, stirring until the onion is coated in the bacon fat. Cook until the onion softens, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the butter, stirring until it melts.
  5. Measure in the flour to create the roux. Stir the onion, bacon fat, butter and flour together. Let the flour cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  6. Lower the heat to the lowest setting. Add the clam juice and the chopped clams to the Dutch oven. Heat slowly as the soup thickens.
  7. Add the milk, the pre-cooked potatoes and the water. Season with salt and white pepper.
  8. Slowly heat the chowder over medium heat until the proper consistency. Please take caution that you to not bring to a boil because of the dairy products used in this recipe. The finished chowder should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If the soup gets too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out to proper consistency.
  9. Serve warm with oyster crackers, and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1991mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 40g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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Overhead shot of bowls of Bacon Potato Clam Chowder on wood table

 

How do you like your clam chowder?

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One Comment

  1. Nothing beats a good clam chowder, and I 200% have confidence that Bob’s got the chowdah thing down pat! My brother’s huge on making homemade clam chowder, so I’m sharing this recipe with him and recommending we make it for the next family get together. Looks amazing, m’dear!

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