New England Clam Chowder

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

Ingredients

3 dozen of cherry stone clams in their shells, scrubbed
3 cups of chopped onion divided
2 ribs of celery chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups of clam juice
2 cups of water
6 slices of bacon chopped
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 pound of red potatoes cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
Oyster crackers optional

Directions

  1. Combine the clams, 1 cup of the onion, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaves, clam juice and water in a Circulon casserole. Cover pot; bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the clams open, about 10-12 minutes. Remove clams from their shells and transfer to a bowl; cover and cool. Meanwhile, use a wire mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towel to strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and reserve. Chop cooled clams and reserve.
  2. Wipe out the pot and return to the stove over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to crisp, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 cups of onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth and the potatoes, increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until potatoes are cooked through, 8-9 minutes. Stir in the reserved clams and cream, return to a simmer and cook uncovered until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley. Serve with oyster crackers if desired.