Shell & Bones Clam Chowder

Executive Chef Arturo Franco-Camacho of Shell & Bones Oyster Bar knows a thing or two about clam chowder, and what better day to celebrate this classic New England dish than on Clam Chowder Day! Here’s his masterful take on the soup, which makes for an incredible appetizer, but is still hearty enough to take center-stage as an entree.

February 25, 2017


  1. Pour the water and wine into a large pot. Bring to a boil at high heat. Add clams, cover and cook until they open, about 5 minutes. Remove clams to a bowl. Strain liquid and reserve. When they have cooled, set aside 6 clams in the shell, remove remainder from their shells and cut into small pieces.
  2. Melt butter and bacon fat in a pan over medium heat, add bacon and cook until bacon is crisp, 4-6 minutes. Add onion, garlic, celery, thyme, and bay leaves. Saute until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes, clam juice, and heavy cream. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Add chopped clams and parsley, stir and serve.
  3. If serving the next day, remove clams from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Reheat soup, return clams to the chowder, stir in parsley and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with crackers, Saltines or potato chips. Place a reserved clam in the shell on top of each bowl. Sprinkle crispy bacon on top if desired.

Serves 6

About this recipe

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar, located on the waterfront in the history City Point area of New Haven, Connecticut, offers the finest in seafood and steak, receiving accolades from Connecticut Magazine, New Haven Living Magazine and a “Very Good” review from The New York Times since opening in July 2015.  Acclaimed Executive Chef Arturo Franco-Camacho incorporates fresh and sustainable ingredients to present new takes on classic dishes, including his award-winning New England Clam Chowder, with all soups, stocks, sauces, and desserts made in-house. In addition to its cuisine, Shell & Bones offers an extensive wine and beer list and creative cocktail menu, with several beers, liquors, and wines sourced locally in Connecticut.


  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 50 littleneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • ½ cup diced bacon
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 3 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ pounds (about 2 cups) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oyster crackers, Saltines, and/or potato chips for garnish
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