This recipe was provided by member Merlin.
If you buy chopped fresh clams, or scrub, steam, and chop your own. Canned SeaWatch brand clams are excellent, and have the advantage of coming in liquid. The following is the basic "Legal Seafood" recipe:
1/4lb salt pork, finely chopped, or minced bacon
1 large onion, chopped
4 C clam liquor, broth, bottled juice, or any combination
***3 cups milk
1-1/2lb baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large bay leaf broken in half
2 tsp dried Thyme, or 2T chopped fresh
3C coarsely chopped clams
2C Half-and-half or light cream
Salt & Pepper, butter for garnish
In a large kettle or soup pot cook salt pork over medium heat till crisp. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels. Add onions to drippings and sweat, stirring, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle on flour and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add milk and clam broth, whisking till smooth. Add potatoes, bay leaf, and dried Thyme (if using). Stir in half-and-half, and continue cooking till potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove pot from heat and let sit, partly covered, for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate up to 2 days. To serve, re-heat gently, removing bay leaves. Ladle into bowls, stir in small square of butter, and sprinkle with the reserved salt pork or bacon.
***It was brought to my attention that the recipe originally posted here did not make mention of the milk in the ingredients, only in the method. In checking other recipes on the internet they seem to call for 3 cups fish stock, which this one does not call for. So I would assume that 3 cups of milk should then be used where it says to add the milk and the clam broth, hence creating enough broth for this chowder. If anyone has another opinion, or knows this recipe, please let me know.
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