Carolina Chowder

  • Yield 16 servings

A hearty and delicious version of seafood chowder.


1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 -- (32-ounce) can clam juice, heated
8 cups milk, scalded
1 cup dry cocktail sherry
2 teaspoons thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
-- Salt and pepper to taste
24 -- cherrystone clams, steamed, chopped
1 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 -- (8-ounce) can crab meat
1 pound bay scallops (optional)
8 to 10 small red potatoes, chopped, steamed


  1. Saute the onions and celery in the butter in a skillet until translucent.  Stir in the flour.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture has the appearance of wet sand, stirring constantly and adding additional butter if needed.  Remove from the heat.  Add the clam juice, milk and cocktail sherry 1 at a time, whisking constantly until smooth.  Return to the heat.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Add the thyme, Tabasaco sauce, salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat.  Simmer until the flour has cooked out of the chowder, skimming the top several times.  Add the clams, shrimp, crab meat and bay scallops.  Cook until tender.  Stir in the potatoes and adjust the seasonings.  May add additional milk or hot clam juice if the chowder is too thick.

Note:  Do not substitute cooking sherry for the dry sherry.  May use a combination of hot clam juice and chicken stock.  May substitue half-and-half for 1/3 of the milk.

Recipe reprinted with permission from the Junior League of Wilmington’s Seaboard to Sideboard (the Junior League of Wilmington, North Carolina, 1998).




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