Creamy Clam Chowder

Creamy Clam Chowder

Creamy Clam Chowder


Makes 6 servings


2-1/2 cups water, divided
20 fresh hard-shell clams,* scrubbed and soaked
2 strips thick-sliced bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
Oyster crackers and lemon slices for garnish

*If fresh clams in shells are not available, substitute 3/4 to 1 cup shucked clams. Omit step 1.


  1. Place 1 cup water in large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add clams. Cover stockpot; reduce heat to medium. Steam 5 to 7 minutes or until clams start to open. Remove clams from stockpot as they open. Discard any clams that remain unopened.
  2. Remove clams from shells. Chop clams; set aside. (For shucked clams, drain and chop clams; set aside.)
  3. Cook bacon in large saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels, leaving drippings in pan. Crumble bacon when cool enough to handle.
  4. Add onion, celery, flour and garlic to bacon drippings and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
  5. Add potatoes to onion mixture. Stir in remaining 1-1/2 cups water, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in half-and-half, milk and chopped clams; heat through over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Stir in bacon. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.

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