Easy Seafood Chowder Recipe

Say it with me now: CHOWDAH. (It tastes better with an accent, but in no way is this a traditional New England-style, ok?)
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 ½ pounds|1588 grams clams, scrubbed clean
2 cups|473 ml white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 fennel bulb, fronds reserved and finely chopped, bulb diced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups|473 ml heavy cream
1 ½ pounds|720 grams red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into ¾-inch pieces
8 ounces|227 grams boneless and skinless snapper fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces|227 grams peeled and deveined shrimp, tail shells removed, halved
8 ounces|227 grams jumbo lump crab meat
crusty bread, to serve


  1. Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add half of the onion, the garlic, and thyme and cook until the onion is soft, 3 minutes. Add the clams, 1 cup|237 ml wine, and 1 cup|237 ml water and cover. Cook until the clams open, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and, using tongs, transfer the clams to a bowl. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve and reserve (you should have about 3 cups|710 ml liquid). Discard the solids and wipe the saucepan clean.
  2. Once the clams are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells, discarding the shells. Halve the clams and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Add the remaining oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the remaining onion, the carrots, celery, and fennel. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables are slightly soft, 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining white wine and cook until reduced by half, 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly stir in the reserved clam cooking liquid and the heavy cream, then add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 13 minutes.
  4. Season the fish and shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the saucepan along with the reserved clam meat and the crab. Cook until the fish are just cooked through the the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the fennel fronds and divide the chowder among bowls. Serve with crusty bread.

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