I have had my friend Will’s recipe for clam chowder in my recipe box for many years. I’ve tweaked it on occasion and this is my favorite version of it. I generally use bacon but if my husband has smoked some pork belly I use that instead. I prefer the chowder to be thin and creamy without any flour to thicken it. But feel free to adjust it according to your personal preference.
1 cup chopped bacon or smoked pork belly
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 large rib celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 (6 oz.) cans chopped clams
1 cup chicken stock
3 large red or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
In a 4-quart pot place bacon or pork belly. Turn heat to medium low and cook pork 5-6 minutes until it starts to turn brown. Drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat, then add onions. Cook 3 minutes to soften onions, then add celery and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add juice from the canned chopped clams and chicken stock. Stir, then add potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat slightly and simmer potatoes for 10 minutes until potatoes are almost cooked. Add clams. Cook about 3 minutes, then add cream, milk, and thyme. Simmer just to heat through. Do not allow to boil. Serves 4-6.