New England Clam Chowder
Makes 6 main-dish servings
|24||medium fresh clams|
|1||bottle (8 ounces) clam juice|
|3||medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices|
|1/4||teaspoon dried thyme leaves|
|1/4||teaspoon white pepper|
|4||slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|1/3||cup all-purpose flour|
|Fresh thyme for garnish|
- Scrub clams with stiff brush. Soak in mixture of 1/3 cup salt to 1 gallon water 20 minutes. Drain water; repeat 2 more times. Refrigerate clams 1 hour.
- Shuck clams, reserving juice. Strain clam juice through triple thickness of dampened cheesecloth; pour clam juice into 2-cup glass measure. Refrigerate until needed. Coarsely chop clams; set aside.
- Add bottled clam juice and enough water to clam juice in glass measure to total 2 cups liquid; place liquid in Dutch oven. Add potatoes, thyme and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in medium skillet over medium heat until almost crisp. Add onion; cook until tender but not brown. Stir flour into bacon mixture. Whisk in milk; cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens.
- Add bacon mixture and half-and-half to potato mixture. Add clams and continue to heat until clams are firm. Serve with oyster crackers. Garnish, if desired.
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