Smokey New England Clam Chowder with Parsley Pistou and Fried Oysters

Smokey New England Clam Chowder with Parsley Pistou and Fried Oysters
Chef Betty Fraser is making this comfort soup with fresh littleneck clams, bacon and shucked oysters.


  • 1# Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2# fresh littleneck clams (or whatever is fresh in your area), cleaned and scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 5 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 leek, green part removed, cut in half, soaked and then cut into slices
  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T old bay seasoning
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 freshly shucked oysters
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 t tabasco
  • 2 cups seasoned cornmeal (2 c cornmeal, s & p to taste)
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1 cup parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

New England Clam Chowder - Home & Family


1. In a large stock pot, place peeled and cubed potatoes into pot. Fill with cold water until 1 inch above potatoes. Add 1 T salt. Put on medium heat and boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In same pot, add clams, water, garlic and wine. Bring to a simmer, cover and steam clams until all are open. If any are cracked or don't open, discard. Remove clams and strain liquid through extra fine strainer or triple layer cheese cloth, discard garlic and keep clam juice. When cooled, chop clams and set aside.

3. In same pot, wiped out, cook bacon, when crispy and all fat is rendered out, remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside. Carefully add the 2 T of olive oil to the bacon fat, warm and then add the leeks, shallot and onion, sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cut celery, sauté another 5 minutes. Add the half and half, cream and the reserved clam juice. Add 1/3 of the potatoes and simmer, when the potatoes are warm (about 10 minutes), blend them into the cream with an immersion blender, this will add a nice thickness to the soup. Add in the thyme, bay leaves, old bay, chopped clams and bacon. Reduce heat and simmer soup for about 30 minutes, never boil, it will make the clams rubbery.

4. While soup is simmering. Soak the shucked oysters in the buttermilk/tabasco mix.

5. Make the parsley pistou, by blending the garlic, parsley and lemon zest in a food processor and slowly add in the olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Add in rest of cooked potatoes to pot.

7. Warm canola oil in a pan to 350 degrees. Drain oysters from buttermilk and dredge in the seasoned cornmeal and completely coat. When oil is hot, gently add oysters to the oil and fry to crispy, drain on paper towel.

8. Serve soup in bowl, drizzle with parsley pistou and garnish each dish with 2 fried oysters.

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