I don’t worry about whether our chowders are authentic or not. I just know the best seafood clam chowder is a bowl full of hearty flavors and an abundance of fresh ingredients. It is delicious and you are too busy asking for seconds! Inspired by the East Coast Maritimes, this Seafood Clam Chowder Recipe is simple to make. There is plenty room for creativity. Improvise if you prefer more clams, add some shrimp, bacon or salted pork!
The East Coast is full of rich culinary experience. With recent rise of Chef Jeremy Charles in St. John’s, new interest in all that Newfoundland has to offer is growing. Seafood comes first to mind in the form of beautiful lobster, salmon or even cod, but the East has much more to offer with bountiful wild game and incredible wild edibles like chanterelle mushrooms, cloudberries and cranberries.
Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a large port. Add in diced onion and celery, saute until softened, mixing often. While you sweat the onions, build up your flavor base with a few good pinches of salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.
To bump up the starch of the potatoes with some flour. I like my New England clam chowder thick. If you like it more watery, add less flour. Stir in 1.4 cup of flour.
Add in chicken (or vegetable) stock. Add a couple bay leaves and clam meat. If you are using canned clam meat, add the whole can including the clam juice.
Today, I wanted to make my own clam stock. In a separate pan, heat olive oil in medium-high heat. Add in fresh clams and 1/4 cup white wine. You do not need to flambe it. Simply, put a lid on the pan and allow the clams to steam awhile. Once the clams have opened up, the clam broth is ready.
Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and mix well. Lower heat to low and simmer for 15 mins. Add in fresh clams, bacon and shrimp. I prefer to add my shrimps in last so I don’t over cook them. I like my shrimp bouncy and not elastic and chewy.
While the best seafood clam chowder is simmering and you can smell how delicious it tastes, it is time to pan fry some croutons.
In a separate skillet, melt butter and toss the bread cubes in the butter until browned and toasted. Approximated 2-3 minutes. Add freshly chopped parsley / cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
Add some pan toasted croutons to your seafood clam chowder and enjoy! I like to add a dash of paprika or cayenne pepper and a small slice of butter in the bowl.
This chowder can be made in advance a day or two. The flavor deepens overnight as it rests. For variations, try adding smoked salmon, or any fish chunks you like to make it into a cioppino-like seafood chowder. Or add some spicy chorizo sausage. Do be afraid!
We hope you like this recipe. Please let us know what you think in the comments below. We’d love to see photos of your seafood clam chowder also!
Best Seafood Clam Chowder Recipe on the East Coast Maritimes
Pan Toasted Croutons:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
- generous freshly chopped parsley or cilantro
- dash of salt
- dash of freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Clam Broth:
- 1/4 cup white wine
- dash of olive oil