Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Serves 8 to 10.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe seen in the British TV cooking series, Two Fat Ladies.

I love good Clam Chowder: It is absolutely delicious when it is made properly—with plenty of clams and clam broth. Most of the chowder served in restaurants is pretty good. Some is as thick as gravy, some is made with heavy cream. It’s good, but I was intrigued when I saw Clarissa Dickson Wright make chowder in Two Fat Ladies. So I came up with a recipe.

Coming up with a name for this recipe was difficult. Clarissa called it American Clam Chowder because it contains potatoes (something they evidently do not add to chowder in England). It contains milk, which is like New England Clam Chowder, but it also contains prosciutto, which is more European. I thought of calling it Anglo-American Clam Chowder, but decided on just plain Clam Chowder. This is a very easy chowder to make.


2 tablespoons butter or oil
5 to 6 ounces (140-170g) chopped onion (about ½ a medium onion)
1 pound (450g) Russet potato; cut into ½-inch dice
1 cup (237ml) water
4 to 5 ounces (110-140g) prosciutto; diced small
2 10-ounce cans clams; whole or chopped (Each can will have 5 ounces (140g) clams and 5 fluid ounces (150ml) broth)
2 cups (473ml) milk or half and half
Several generous grindings of fresh ground black pepper (1/8 to ¼ teaspoon)
Salt to taste, if necessary


Drain the clams, but retain the broth in a separate bowl. Set the clams aside until needed.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion. Sauté over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the diced potatoes, clam broth, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the prosciutto, clams, milk, and black pepper. Return to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour to let the flavors develop.

Reheat and taste for salt. Serve as a first course with French bread or crackers.

This chowder will taste even better the next day.