New England Clam Chowder Woodman’s Secret Recipe 

November 18, 2021 / A Local Favorite, Food and Drink, Good to Know, Things to Do & See

A sibling of stew, and long enjoyed in fishing villages throughout the world, chowder was certainly popular along our Northeastern coast before English settlers arrived and called it “New England”. However, the celebrated cream and potato-based version that has long been a credit to this region is believed to have originated in Newfoundland in the days when Breton fishermen combined portions of the day’s catch with ship’s biscuit, milk and whatever else was available. The name itself is probably derived from the French “Chaudière”, an archaic word for cauldron. 

4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

¼ cup onion, minced 

4 cups minced clams, with their juice 

2 cups milk or cream, depending on desired thickness 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Butter (optional) 

Put the potatoes and onions in a heavy-bottomed pot with just enough water to cover the top of the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then lower heat so liquid just simmers. Cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the minced clams and bring to a second boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat, clams will be rubbery if over-cooked. Remove the pot from the heat at once and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Heat cream in a second pot add to chowder and stir. 

Yields two+ quarts (8-10 servings, including dairy). 

Recipe Notes: Serve hot, adding a pat of butter to your cup if desired. The remaining chowder stock may be frozen before adding dairy. 

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