Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Rhode Islander's love clam chowder. This chowder has an intermediate consistency between traditional New England clam chowder that has a heavy cream base and a Rhode Island clam chowder which is a clear broth style. This chowder captures the best of both types with a rich milky base that is not too heavy but allows the flavor of the clams and other ingredients to shine through. This is a great chowder to serve on a hot summer afternoon.
- 4 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
- 3 slices bacon
- 3 slices salt pork (bacon can be substituted)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 -3 lbs minced clams with juice (more or less depending on your desired consistency)
- 1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped onions
- 1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped celery
- 2 1⁄2 lbs potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (I use baby reds and leave the skin on but based on your taste you can also use a peeled white potato)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pinch dill
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 pint half-and-half
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup flour (enough to form roux)
- splash Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- oyster crackers
- drain clams and reserve juice.
- cut bacon and salt pork into 1/2 " strips.
- cook bacon and salt pork in large dutch oven or stock pot of suitable size.
- drain all but 2 tbl of fat.
- add butter, celery, and onion and cook 5 mins until onions begin to become translucent.
- add garlic and herbs and cook 3 mins until they become wilted but not brown.
- add flour and make a roux -- this should take about 2 minutes.
- Add bottle clam juice and the juice that was reserved from clams - there should be about 6-8 cups of broth at this time.
- add diced potatoes and cook 30 mins on low until potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
- remove mixture from heat.
- in a separate pan combine heavy cream and half and half and heat till warm but not boiling.
- add the warm cream to potato broth mixture and gently blend in clams.
- season with salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce to taste.
- let sit for one hour to allow flavors to blend.
- reheat but do not boil.
- serve with oyster crackers.