This is your classic creamy New England clam chowder at it's finest.
- 5 strips bacon, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 celery sticks, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3 stems fresh thyme
- 5 potatoes, cleaned and cubed (do not peel)
- 1 ½ teaspoons pepper
- 1 51 ounce can of minced clams in juice (about 4 cups clam juice)
- ½ teaspoon Seafood Bullion (secret ingredient)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- 5 tablespoons flour (more or less to get desired consistency)
- 3 cups of half-and-half
- 2 cups of whole milk
- Salt to taste
In a large, heavy pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, crumble, and set aside, leaving the bacon fat at the bottom of the pan.
Add the butter to the pot with the bacon fat. Sauté onions and celery in the bacon fat mixture for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, potatoes, and pepper and continue to sauté until vegetables begin to soften.
Using a strainer into a medium sized bowl to collect the clam juice, separate the clams from their juice and put clams aside. Stir in the reserved clam juice, seafood bouillon, and worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the half-and-half and milk and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add clams. Slowly stir the flour into the pot until you get your desired consistency and simmer for another 10 minutes. Do not allow to boil as this toughens the clams and can burn the milk.
Serve chowder with crumbled bacon on top.