New England Clambake
- 4 small baking potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams
- 2 dozen clams in the shell (preferably cherrystones)
- Cold water
- 4 ears fresh corn
- 2 (2 1/2 pound) broiler-fryer chickens, quartered
- 1/2 pound butter or margarine
- 2 (1 pound) live Maine lobsters*
- 4 small onions, peeled
- Rockweed or cornhusks
- Lemon wedges
* To prepare lobster before adding to kettle, lay each lobster on
wooden board. To sever spinal cord, insert point of knife through back shell
where body and tail of lobster come together. Turn lobster over. With sharp
knife, split body of lobster down middle, cutting through thin undershell just
to back shell and leaving back shell intact. Discard dark intestinal vein running
down center of lobster; also discard small sac below head. Crack large claws.
- Scrub potatoes. Scrub clam shells under cold running water, using a stiff
brush to remove dirt and sand. Place clams in a large bowl; add cold water to
cover and let stand 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, use scissors to trim off tops of ears of corn. Remove a few outer
husks from each ear and reserve. Turn back remaining husks; remove and discard
silk. Replace husks as they were. Soak ears and reserved husks in lightly salted
water until you are ready to cook the corn.
- In a large skillet, sauté chicken, a few pieces at a time, in 2 tablespoons
butter. Brown chicken on all sides until golden, adding more butter as needed.
This should take about 10 minutes per side. Meanwhile, if you are using lobsters,
prepare them as directed in the note below.
- Place wire rack in bottom of a very large kettle with tight-fitting lid.
Pour in 2 cups cold water. Arrange potatoes and onions on rack; cover with a
layer of rockweed or cornhusks. Add corn, more rockweed, and then the chicken
and/or lobster. Top with clams; cover with rockweed or any remaining husks.
Cover kettle and place over medium heat. Steam for 1 hour and 15 minutes or
until potatoes, onions and corn are tender.
- Remove clams to a large bowl.
- Transfer chicken, lobster and vegetables to large platter.
- Pour broth into 4 (8-ounce) cups or bowls and serve to dip clams in for
- Melt butter for dipping clams and lobster.
- Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter.
Makes 4 servings.