This Seafood Chowder recipe was a multi-year winner at Ogunquit’s Christmas by the Sea chowder competition in Ogunquit, Maine. This is the most flavorful of chowders. The “stock” evolves as the clams, lobster, scallops, and shrimp are all cooked separately, but in the same broth, building the flavor with each addition of seafood. Try it yourself and see if you don’t agree it’s one of the best seafood chowder recipes in New England!
4 ounces salt pork, diced
1 medium white Spanish onion, finely diced
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/2-inch pieces)
2 pounds Maine steamers (clams), or substitute manilla clams or little necks
1 lobster (1-1/4 pounds)
1 pound bay or sea scallops
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined (Maine or others)
1 quart half-and-half, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
2 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika, or more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the salt pork over low heat until the fat is rendered and the pork is browned and crisp. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring until transparent, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a separate medium saucepan cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Place the clams in a large, broad pot and add about 1 quart water. Heat to boiling. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 3 minutes. Lift the clams from the pot with a slotted spoon and cool. Strain the broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a dampened paper towel. Rinse and wipe out the pan, add the strained broth, and set aside. Pull the clams from their shells and reserve.
4. Heat the clam broth to boiling. Add the lobster to the boiling water headfirst, cover pot, and cook 20 minutes or until done. Use tongs to remove the lobster from the water. Set aside to cool. Reserve broth. Crack lobster shells and remove meat. Dice into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. Reserve tomalley.
5. Heat the broth to boiling; add the scallops and shrimp. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the onions and salt pork, potatoes, clams, lobster meat, tomalley, half-and-half, butter, parsley, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat and stir until steaming hot, but not boiling.