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Shirley's Maine Clam Chowder

Rated as 4.52 out of 5 Stars

"This is a rich clam chowder, but not as thick and pasty as some. Fresh shucked clams are recommended, but you may also use canned clams."
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55 m servings 284
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. In a small saucepan, heat clam juice and peeled potatoes. Bring water to a boil and let simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place bacon in a large stock pot. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in onions and celery. Cook until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add potatoes, clam juice and clams to the stock pot. Heat until simmering.
  4. In a separate pot, gently warm (do not boil) half and half. Pour warm half and half into the stock pot and heat just until warmed through. Do not boil the chowder or the cream will separate. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 284 calories; 11.5 30.9 14.5 51 343 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 20
  1. 23 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Wow!! The best in a lonnnggg time. Thanks. Hope you don't mind but i made an addition by adding 4 tablespoon's of corn starch.

Most helpful critical review

I didn't like the part about not draining off the bacon fat after frying. It made the whole chowder too fatty and greasy. In fact, my stomach hurt after eating this chowder. My husband (a New...

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Least positive

Wow!! The best in a lonnnggg time. Thanks. Hope you don't mind but i made an addition by adding 4 tablespoon's of corn starch.

Use Salt Pork - these days "Bacon" comes with flavors (maple!!) that don't blend well with clams. BUTTER (!), Thyme (CAREFUL! Go Slow. It can quickly overpower the chowder!) & White Pepper. Bes...

I "doctored" and "cheated" a bit as every cook does: used 3 cans diced potatoes, 2 cans sliced carrots, sauteed the chopped onions and celery with a heaping tablespoon minced garlic in the bacon...

This recipe was good after I made some changes to suit my taste. I used a 28oz. can of whole baby clams, 4 potatoes, a 14 1/2 oz. can of evaporated milk, 1 cup of water, and I thickened it with ...

A true New England chowder. No need to add any thickening agents...the potatoes and cream do that perfectly! I chop a handful of celery leaves and add a bit of dry marjoram to the potato, cele...

I added garlic, salt, and cracked pepper. I used 3 cans of chopped clams in place of what was called for in the recipe because I did not have access to shucked clams. My family loved this recip...

Just about as perfect as it gets. Good sourdough bread and some citrus salad or Waldorf salad and you have a real Saturday night meal.

Excellent chowder! Even my kids loved it, and that's saying A LOT!

I added some diced carrots and several splashes of hot sauce. My family loved it.