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Smoky Grilled Clams with Sauvignon Blanc Broth

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 3/4 cup broth

Servings: 4 as an appetizer and 2 as an entrée

Since the clams cook in just a few minutes, be sure that the wood chips ignite and start to smoke before you begin grilling; this will give you the right amount of smoke without overwhelming the clams’ delicate briny flavor. Serve with grilled crusty bread to soak up the rich broth.


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 cup apple wood or other fruit wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 250
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 150
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 60
  • Sodium (mg): 690
  • Carbohydrates (g): 6
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 15


  • Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (400°F to 475°F). (If using gas, the coals should be covered with white ash, and you should be able to hold your hand just above the grate for no more than 2 to 3 seconds.)
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot, garlic, and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture reduces by half. Pour in the clam juice, return to a boil, and cook until reduced by about a quarter, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter until melted. Keep warm.
  • Drain the wood chips. If using a gas grill, add them to a smoker box or on a sheet of aluminum foil set on the cooking grate right above the fire. Add the chips directly to the coals on a charcoal grill. Close the lid and wait for the chips to start smoking, about 10 minutes for a gas grill and 3 to 4 minutes for a charcoal grill.
  • Once the chips have started smoking, place the clams on the cooking grate, close the lid, and grill until the clams pop open, about 6 minutes. Give any clams that don’t open another 1 to 2 minutes. If they don’t open by then, discard them. Transfer the clams to a large bowl, lifting them off the grill with tongs to keep as much liquid in the shells as possible. Pour the sauce over the clams, and toss well to distribute the sauce. Serve immediately with crusty bread.


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