Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, salt, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add clam liquid, potato, clam juice, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard bay leaf.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add clams; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.
Really, really tasty. I'm from Maine, so clam chowder is generally a staple in our home and this recipe has become our go-to (I prefer it to the regular butter and cream laden versions). Great flavor, no one ever believes it's low fat! Try it, you'll love it.
People! This is supposed to be New England style "chowdah" not a cajun dish. Therefore, no hot sauce,red pepper flakes, peas or heaven help me lima beans! The flour should be cooked down in a roux with the drippings. How thick you like it decides how much flour to milk ratio. This is a decent recipe but personally I can't think calories when making good chowdah.
Was a little disappointed with this recipe. The potatoes dissolved completely in the chowder; were I to make this again, I would double the amount of potatoes, adding half as currently directed (they help to thicken the chowder) and the other half with the milk and flour. And the portions seemed small. I cut the recipe to serve 4 (as there are only two of us), and DH and I finished it all -- with crackers! For a CL recipe, this just doesn't cut it.
This was good, but I had to doctor it up by adding about a tsp of hot sauce to it and about an extra teaspoon of cracked pepper, some smoked paprika and kosher salt to taste. And five cups of potatoes is much more than a pound! With my changes it was a big hit!
We liked it but I took the recommendation of other reviewers and used cornstarch instead of flour. I also added some peas, corn and baby lima beans. I definitely think the additions made the difference between a 3 star and a 4 star recipe. Not a 5 though. But a 4 is still pretty darned good and I'd definately make again.
Based on the recipe "as-is" I give this 3 stars, mainly because it's a great base but really lacking in spices.
First, I added 1/2 of the flour and very glad that I did. I didn't want a really thick chowder, and cutting this in half made it creamy but not like glue. I also used fresh thyme (1 sprig = 1/2 t dried).
Second, when I finished there was very little spic,. it just tasted bland! I added sea salt, freshly grated black pepper, crushed red pepper and then about 2T of fresh parsley and another sprig of the thyme. After adding the spices, I'd give this 4 stars.
Next time, I will try corn starch instead of flour, as another reviewer did. I think it would take away the flour taste while giving it the creaminess. Hopefully that will bring it to 5 stars for me.