Warm Up With This Creamy and Delicious Chowder
Creamy and comforting, New England clam chowder warms you from head to toe. While the chowder doesn't take too long to make on the stovetop, it's always nice to be able to serve dinner to your hungry family as soon as you all walk through the door. The next time you have a hankering for clam chowder, consider using your Crock-Pot so you have more quality time with your kids eating chowder than stressing over making it.
Clam chowder may be special, but it comes from humble beginnings and was once considered a "poor man's food." Like many stew-type dishes, clam chowder was created as way to extend fish, or in this case clams, by combining them with whatever was on hand. Early American settlers added salt pork and biscuits to their chowder. While biscuits aren't commonly found in chowders eaten today, they may have served as inspiration for oyster crackers.
This Crock-Pot recipe is a take on the classic New England clam chowder.
Total Time: 4 to 5 hours | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 8
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 4 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams in their own juice
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon. Lay the cooked bacon on paper towels and pat off the grease. Cut the bacon into pieces.
- In a 6- to 8-quart Crock-Pot, add the bacon pieces, clams with the juice, onions, celery, potatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover the Crock-Pot, and cook on low for 4 hours.
- Pour the half-and-half into a medium heat-safe bowl. Add two or three ladles of soup to the half-and-half to warm it up, and then return the entire contents of the bowl to the Crock-Pot.
- Add butter to the chowder. Cover the Crock-Pot and cook for 1 more hour.
- Serve hot, with oyster crackers, if desired.
- While oyster crackers make a tasty topping for the thick and luscious clam chowder, consider toasting up your own croutons. Cut bread intocubes, toss it in oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Season withsalt, pepper, thyme, basil and rosemary. Bake in a 400F oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- If you're calorie conscious or prefer more veggies in your chowder, maybe you'd rather make Manhattan clam chowder. Not only is this chowder a little healthier than the creamy New England version, but it's also a little easier to make in the Crock-Pot. In a 6-quart Crock-Pot add 1cup of chopped onions, 1/2 cup of chopped carrots, 1/2 cup choppedcelery, 1 large can of tomatoes, 6 cubed red potatoes, 2 cans of chopped clams with juice, 1 cup of clam juice, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of sage , and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.