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New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Yield

Makes 6 main-dish servings

Ingredients

24 medium fresh clams
Salt
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
2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
Oyster crackers
Fresh thyme for garnish

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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