Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder
*Serves 6 (about 2 quarts).
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion , diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
4 (6.5-ounce) cans minced clams, drain and reserve clam juice
1 cup water
3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and diced medium
2 large bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon in medium saucepan (I used a medium enameled dutch oven) over medium-low heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion to bacon; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour; stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in bottled clam juice, reserved clam juice from clams, and water. Add potatoes, bay leaves, and thyme; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 6 minutes (don’t overcook the potatoes or they will become mushy after adding the cream and bringing to a simmer!). Add clams, cream, parsley, and salt and ground pepper to taste (be careful not to oversalt!); bring to simmer. Remove from heat and serve.