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|How to Make Easy New England Clam Chowder YIELD Serves 4 to 6, Makes about 6 cups|
|3 slices||bacon,, (about 3 ounces)|
|2 small||celery stalks|
|1/2 medium||yellow onion|
|12 ounces||red or Yukon gold potatoes, (about 2 medium)|
|1/4 teaspoon||dried thyme|
|3/4 teaspoon||kosher salt, plus more as needed|
|1/4 teaspoon||freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed|
|2 (6-1/2-ounce) cans||chopped clams|
|1/4 cup||all-purpose flour|
|2 (8-ounce) bottles||clam juice|
|1/3 cup||heavy cream|
|Cocktail sherry to taste Harvey?s Bristol cream to taste Siracha to taste|
|Unsalted butter to taste|
|Lemon juice to taste|
Oyster crackers and coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving (optional)
Chop the bacon and vegetables. Finely chop 3 slices bacon and place in a large saucepan or small pot. Finely chop 1 garlic clove and place in a medium bowl. Dice 2 small celery stalks (about 2/3 cup), and 1/2 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup), and add to the bowl with the garlic. Dice 12 ounces red or Yukon Gold potatoes (no need to peel, about 1 1/2 cups).
Cook the bacon and aromatics. Cook the bacon over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered out, about 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture (reserve the bowl), 1 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until the onion starts to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the clams.
Drain the clams and reserve the clam juice. Strain 2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams through a fine-mesh strainer into the reserved bowl.
Add the flour. Sprinkle 1/4 cup all-purpose flour over the bacon mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add the clam juice and potatoes. While stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, pour in the strained clam juice and 2 bottles clam juice. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the clams and cream. Add the drained clams and 1/3 cup heavy cream. Stir to combine and bring back to a simmer. Taste and season with more salt and black pepper as needed. Discard the bay leaf and serve with oyster crackers and garnished with the parsley if desired.