Pan-Roasted Littlenecks

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Move aside oysters, clams are the star of this dish from chef Daniel Kenney. Working with Cape Cod-based shellfish aficionado Pat Woodbury, Kenney sources his littlenecks locally but as long as you keep ‘em on the small side and don’t skimp on the Chardonnay (chef’s orders!), you should be ok with whatever variety they have on ice at your grocery store. Be sure not to forget the crusty bread – you’ll need it for soaking up all that tasty broth.


Servings: 2


  • 1 pound fresh live littleneck clams
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 small shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 link of Portuguese chorizo, diced small
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 glass-full of a good buttery Chardonnay (use the best wine you can gather, and serve the same wine with the course)
  • 2 slices of fresh-baked country bread, something with a nice crust
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper


  1. Wash the clams and make sure that they're all alive and that their shells are tightly closed (discard any clams that are broken, open or dead).
  2. Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. When the pan starts to smoke, add the dry clams directly to the pan, then add the sliced garlic, shallots, chorizo and olive oil. Toss the clams and cover with a lid for approximately two minutes.
  3. When the clams begin to open, remove the lid and add the wine.
  4. Once all the clams are open, add the cubed butter and all the fresh herbs. Toss around so each clam is coated with the broth.
  5. Serve immediately with lightly toasted country bread for dipping in the broth and a chilled glass of Chardonnay.

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