It’s easy to make a classic clam chowder with fresh or canned clams. Will warm you up and fill you up! If you can get fresh clams, save a couple to add whole to the chowder for a fabulous presentation.
1-1/2 pints shucked clams or 3 – 6.5 oz. cans of minced clams
6 Slices of Bacon (or substitute diced salt pork cubes)
1-1/2 Cups chopped onions
3/4 Cup finely chopped celery
1/2 Cup dry white wine
3 Cups Chopped, peeled potatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper
4-1/2 Cups Half & Half
3 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
If using fresh clams, reserve the juice and set clams aside – if using canned, separate clams from juice. Strain clam juice to remove any shell pieces. You will need 1-1/2 Cups of clam juice. If you don’t have enough, use water or bottled clam juice to bring up to measurement.
In a 4 qt. pot, cook bacon or salt pork until crisp and browned. Remove bacon, set aside to drain on a paper towel and save 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add onions and celery to the pot. Cook and stir over medium heat until soft.
Stir in the wine and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then add reserved clam juice, potatoes, ground black pepper and crushed red pepper and thyme.
Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. With a fork, smash most of the potatoes
In a medium bowl stir together the Half & Half and flour until smooth; add to the potato mixture. Bring to a simmer and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in the clams and stir until warmed. Adjust the thickness with water, milk or clam juice.
Serve with the bacon bits on top.