Best Seafood Chowder Recipe
8-10 bacon strips, divided
2 Tbsp. butter
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 small potatoes, red potatoes or Yukon gold, peeled and cubed
2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
2 8 ounce bottles clam juice
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups half-and-half, divided
3 cans, 6-1/2 ounces each, of whole clams, chopped into chunky pieces, drained
6 oz salad shrimp, bay shrimp
6 oz crabmeat, shredded
1-2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
Chopped fresh chives or green onions, for garnish
- In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Add butter to the drippings (you can spoon out some of the drippings if you don’t want to use that much); saute celery, leek, and onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, broth, clam juice, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into the soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in (drained) clams, shrimp, crabmeat, and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil); turn down to low heat; add the bay leaf. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add in 4 strips of crumbled bacon, and season to taste with Old Bay seasoning.
- Crumble the reserved 2 strips of bacon. Garnish chowder with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped chives.
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