Legal Seafood's Clam Chowder Recipe

Bowl of clam chowder
Rusty Hill / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
475 Calories
30g Fat
35g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 475
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 1220mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 17g
Calcium 143mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Legal Seafood is a popular East Coast restaurant chain and they make a fantastic clam chowder. If you're a fan of this delicious and renowned dish, you'll be happy to know that it's easy to make at home.

Like most clam chowders, Legal Seafood's recipe includes littleneck clams, garlic, onions, potatoes, and cream. Yet, there's a secret ingredient that makes it stand out from all the other chowder recipes. The key to that signature flavor is nothing more than a little salt pork and the cracklings produced while rendering it.

George Berkowitz, Jane Doerfer (Doubleday)


  • 4 quarts littleneck clams (about 1 2/3 cups cooked and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 ounces salt pork (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (peeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 4 1/2 cups clam broth
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 2 cups light cream
  • Optional: oyster crackers

Steps to Make It

  1. Clean the clams and place them in a large pot along with the garlic and water. Steam the clams until they open (about 6 to 10 minutes, depending upon their size).

  2. Drain and shell the clams, reserving the broth in a bowl.

  3. Mince the clam flesh and set aside. Filter the clam broth either through coffee filters or cheesecloth and set aside.

  4. In a large, heavy pot slowly render the salt pork. Remove the cracklings and set them aside.

  5. Slowly cook the onions in the fat, stirring frequently for about 6 minutes, or until cooked through but not browned.

  6. Stir in the flour and cook while stirring continuously for 3 minutes.

  7. Add the reserved clam broth and fish stock, and whisk to remove any flour lumps.

  8. Bring the liquid to a boil, add the potatoes, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (about 15 minutes).

  9. Stir in the reserved clams, salt pork cracklings, and light cream. Heat the chowder until it is the temperature you prefer.

  10. Serve in large soup bowls with oyster crackers on the side.

Recipe Source: "Legal Seafoods Cookbook" by George Berkowitz, Jane Doerfer (Doubleday). Reprinted with permission.

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