New England Clam Chowder
Jill Aker-Ray/Personal Chef
4 slices bacon OR 2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed,
sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp thyme
fresh parsley or dill to garnish
1 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
If using bacon, place slices in a cold skillet and turn to medium. Fry until desired crispness and set aside on paper towels to crumble. RESERVE bacon drippings in pan
Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and celery and sauté until softened and add salt and pepper to give first layer of flavor.
Stir in the flour to distribute evenly and cook just long enough to eliminate the flour taste. (roux will be light blonde)
Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, thyme and potatoes and stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender.
Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.
Add chopped fresh parsley and croutons.