New England Clam Chowder
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- 10 cherrystone or quahog clams
- 2 cups water
- 4 ounces chopped onions
- 2 ounces chopped celery
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- 4 bay leaves divided
- 2 whole black peppercorns
- 6 ounces apple-wood smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 large Spanish onions, medium diced
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes, washed and medium diced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
- Oyster crackers, for garnish
- Wash the clams several times in cold water. Make sure all of the clams are closed. Discard any clams that remain open after you tap on the shell. In a large pot over high heat, add 2 cups of water, the onion, celery, thyme, 1 bay leaf, and the peppercorns. Add the clams, cover and steam until all of the clams open.
- Remove the clams from the liquid and remove them from the shells. Chop the clams into small pieces and set aside. Strain the juice through a fine strainer and reserve.
- Cook the bacon in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, until rendered and crispy. Add the onions, remaining 3 bay leaves, the thyme, crushed red pepper and butter. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and the reserved clam juice. Cook until potatoes are tender.
- Add the heavy cream and chopped clams and simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the chopped parsley.
- Serve in bowls with oyster crackers.