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The Main Course New England Clam Chowder

This is a recipe from Shawn Joyce, chef at The Main Course restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware. Joyce prefers to serve the chowder the day after it is made, when the starch from the potatoes thickens the soup and flavors meld together.


  • 4 to 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds chopped clams
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 5 cups heavy cream


  1. In a large, deep saucepan, cook bacon slowly until fat is rendered. Then turn up the heat and brown the bacon. Remove diced, cooked bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
  2. Without cleaning out the pan, add butter and melt. Next, add onions and cook until translucent. Add potatoes, thyme, a light sprinkle of salt and pepper and the flour, then blend well. Stir in clam juice and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are partially cooked through. Then add the cream and the chopped clams and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add bacon and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  4. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or small cubes of butter if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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