Cape Cod Clam Chowder ~1866

Mid-1800s Cape Cod Clam Chowder Recipe.

Screenshot-2017-10-29 Jennie June's American cookery book, containing (1)
Jennie June’s American Cookery Book, 1866, Clam Chowder Recipe

Whenever I make clam chowder, it always seems really involved. I love this recipe because you fry the salt pork, layer the ingredients, and then let it cook. Simple!

Note the absence of cream/milk.


  • Salt pork (bacon or breakfast ham)
  • Crackers (or Gluten free bread in my house)
  • Sliced potatoes
  • Sliced onions
  • Fish/Clams
  • Salt as needed

Being a gluten free household, I used slices of GF bread crumbled up in the pot (see picture). I also added celery and carrots because I had some in the fridge.

Why layer the ingredients?

I thought that layering the ingredients was a waste of time because when the pot boils everything gets mixed together. Then a co-worker mentioned that it may be an alternative way to measure the ingredients. Otherwise I would have no idea how many potatoes, onions, etc. to add. Brilliant!

Lessons Learned

  • Salt liberally (especially if not using crackers)
  • Cook over medium high heat for 1 hour, 20 min.
  • Use a potato masher to mix all the ingredients together.

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