Hearty New England Clam Chowder
with Bacon and Potatoes
What could be better than a big bowl of creamy clam chowder? Packed with vegetables and bacon this chowder is a meal in itself.
4 tablespoons butter - divided use
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove large garlic, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme - divided use
1 pound fresh whole clams, scrubbed
1 cup dry white wine
3 strips of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 leek, cleaned and diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (8-ounce) jar clam juice
2 cups milk
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt half the butter over medium heat. When foam subsides, sauté green onions, garlic and half the thyme until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add clams and white wine, cover and cook until clams open, about 5 minutes. Discard any that remain closed. Using a slotted, spoon, transfer clams to a bowl. Strain cooking liquid and reserve.
- Remove clam meat from shells. Discard shells and dice meat; set aside.
- In the same pot that the clams were cooked, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add remaining butter, and when melted stir in onion, celery and leek. Cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in clam juice and reserved clam liquid and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom to remove any browned bits. Stir in remaining thyme, milk, potatoes, hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a bare simmer and cook gently until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
- Add cream and reserved clams and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes; do not boil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Makes 6 servings.