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Cherrystone Clam Chowder with Corn

Clambakes are a regular part of summer parties in Maine. Alexandra and Eliot Angle usually make this smoky, creamy chowder with the leftovers, but it can easily be prepared with shucked, store-bought clams and served as a clambake starter.

slideshow More Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon (5 slices)
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 40 cherrystone clams (about 8 pounds), scrubbed and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium onions, very coarsely chopped
  • 3 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cobs
  • 2 1/4 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve the bacon fat in the skillet. Crumble the bacon coarsely.
  2. In a stockpot, combine the clam juice, wine and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add the clams, cover and simmer over moderately high heat until the clams open, about 8 minutes. Transfer the clams to a large bowl and discard any unopened ones.
  3. Strain the clam broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Rinse out the stockpot. Remove the clams from their shells and coarsely chop them.
  4. In the stockpot, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and potatoes and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the clam broth, cover and simmer until the corn and potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped clams, milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls, sprinkle with the bacon and serve.

Make Ahead

The clam chowder can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

A light Chardonnay will provide a cleansing contrast to this rich soup. Try one from South Africa.

Contributed By Photo © Brittain Stone Published June 2004

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