New England Clam Chowder

Creamy and luxurious, this clam chowder relies on smoky bacon to give it an extra flavor punch.

New England Clam Chowder
serves 8-10

6 oz bacon, chopped
1 large onion, finely diced
2 large stalks celery, finely diced
3 large russet potatoes, diced
3 T butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
2 8 oz jars of clam juice
2 1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 6.5 oz cans of chopped clams
1 cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and saute until it renders most of its fat and begins to get crispy and brown. Add the onion and celery and saute for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the butter, flour, and Old Bay seasoning and let cook for about 1 minute.

Whisk in the milk, making sure to beat out any lumps from the flour. Add the clam juice, water, potatoes, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the clams and their juice and simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes to heat through. Mix in the heavy cream and then taste for seasonings, adding salt and black pepper to taste.

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