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Captain Ron's Clam Chowder

Yield Makes 14 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 dozen fresh clams, scrubbed
  • 8 bacon slices, chopped
  • 4 onions, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large potatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups half-and-half

How to Make It

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add clams, and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until shells open. Strain cooking water from Dutch oven into a container, discarding any sediment. Shuck clams into a bowl, discarding shells and any whole clams that do not open. Coarsely chop clams, and set aside.

  2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Set bacon aside.

  3. Sauté onions and garlic in hot drippings over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and thyme, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle flour over potato mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add reserved clam water and clam juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, over medium heat 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  4. Add parsley and next 3 ingredients. Stir in clams and reserved bacon; cook over medium heat just until thoroughly heated.

  5. Pour 2004 or 2005 Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay. This fruity and buttery wine stands up to rich chowder but doesn't overwhelm.