Rhode Island Clam Chowder

“Clear broth is Rhode Island style clam chowder, my favorite. If I have a choice of the Manhattan or the New England or the Rhode Island, I am going for this one hands down! You have to be a clam lover to appreciate the unadorned and undisguised broth. Truly a delight!

I like to make it this way, very simply and traditionally, but with a touch of white wine. Leave out the wine if you prefer. But this is still the basic RI clam chowder I prefer! And I have my favorite places to get it in RI when I go! Can’t wait to go back to one of my favorite places in the world!   When you can’t there to taste the multitude of amazing specialties you can only find in that smallest state in America, you just have to make them yourself.    Enjoy!”

Servings: 8


2 pounds quahogs, little necks, cherrystone clams, clams, or a mixture (I mix them)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 pound bacon, diced
1 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups red potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/16 teaspoon crushed red red pepper flakes 


1. Rinse the clams well in cold water, scrubbing the shells to remove any sand.  Set aside.
2. Put the water in a large pot to a boil. Add the rinsed clams and cook until the clam shells open up, usually this takes about 10-15 minutes. ( Any clams that do not open up are bad and should be discarded.)
3. Strain the clam broth through a very fine sieve or cheesecloth and set aside.
4. Remove the clams from the shells. Give the clam meat a very quick rinse under water to remove any possible sand and coarsely chop the clam meat. Set aside.
5. Rinse the large pot and sauté the butter and bacon in it over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the bacon has browned. Remove the bacon and set it aside.
6. Add the onions, celery, and white wine to the pot and sauté for a few minutes, just to soften the vegetables.
7. Add the reserved clam broth, potatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
8. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the reserved chopped clams and bacon.  Simmer for about 7 minutes, then turn off the heat.
9. It is better to give the chowder some time (at least a half hour) to let the flavors meld before serving. Then just reheat it a bit. I think it is even more delicious the next day…and the next! 

Rhode Island Clear Clam Chowder
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving: 1/2 cup
Calories: 185
Calories from Fat: 31

* % Daily Value *
* Total Fat 3g 5%
* Saturated Fat 2g 8%
* Cholesterol 95mg 32%
* Sodium 1003mg 42%
* Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
* Dietary Fiber 0.5g 4%
* Protein 19g 35%
* Sugars 0.5g
* Vitamin A 1%
* Vitamin C 5%
* Calcium 1%
* Iron 5%

* * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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