Neely Clam Chowder
- Two 10-ounce cans clams
- Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
- 3 thick slices bacon, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Dash of hot sauce
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Snipped fresh chives, for serving
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
Drain the canned clams over a measuring cup and reserve the juice. You will need 3 cups reserved juice in total, so add the 2 bottles of clam juice to make a total of 3 cups.
Add the bacon to the Dutch oven and saute long enough for the bacon to begin to render its fat but not begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the garlic, celery, onions, thyme, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Saute until tender and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook until pasty and blonde. Stir in the clam juice, and then add the potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes.
Add the half-and-half and clams and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with the vinegar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Serve with the snipped chives.