New England Clam Chowder Recipe

New England Clam Chowder
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

4 (6 ½ oz) Cans OR 1 ½ lbs Frozen Chopped Clams
1 lb Red Potatoes - cut into ¼ - ½ inch cubes (peeled or not - your choice)
16 oz Bottled Clam Juice - can substitute chicken or vegetable stock if desired
6 slices Thick Cut Bacon - diced
3 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Onion - small chopped
1 Cup Celery - small chopped
¼ Cup All Purpose Flour - can substitute 4 tsp arrowroot powder OR 2 Tbs of potato starch
1 clove Fresh Garlic - minced
1 ½ tsp Fresh Thyme - chopped
3 sprigs Fresh Parsley
2 Bay Leaves
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preparation:
  1. Using a colander, drain the clams reserving the liquid and set the clams aside (you should have apx 2 cups of liquid from the cans - if using frozen clams adjust as necessary with additional bottled clam juice or stock) - Add clam juice/stock to the reserved liquid and set aside
  2. Place a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat - Cook the bacon until crisp (apx 6-8 minutes) - Remove bacon from pot and set aside to drain leaving about a Tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pot (remove extra drippings if needed)
  3. Add onion, celery, and garlic to the bacon drippings and sauté until onion is translucent and celery is slightly tender (apx 8 minutes) - Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in flour (or substitute thickener) and cook continuously stirring for 3 minutes - Add clam juice mixture to the pot and whisk to combine - Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally (resulting mixture should be the consistency of heavy cream - if too thick add a little more clam juice/stock or water - if too thin, allow to cook for additional time)
  4. Add potatoes, thyme, parsley, ¼ tsp black pepper, and bay leaf to pot and return to a simmer - Once simmer has been achieved, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender
  5. Add heavy cream to the pot and stir to combine - Add reserved clams and stir to combine - Return to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until clams are cooked through 
  6. Remove bay leaves - Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve hot garnished reserved bacon 'bits' - Can add additional thyme sprigs and serve alongside oyster or saltine crackers or a good 'hunk' of crusty bread if desired

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