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Clam Chowder

2 quarts chicken stock
3 dozen clams
4-6 pieces bacon, ¼ inch dice (equaling 1/2 cup, chopped)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups onion, ¼ inch dice
2 cups celery, ¼ inch dice
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2-3 black peppercorns
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and ½ inch dice
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup warm water
½ cup – ¾ cup heavy cream
1-2 shots of Tabasco, to taste
Kosher salt
Oyster crackers, to serve
Chives, sliced thin, for garnish


Place the 2 quarts of chicken stock, white wine, bay leaves, thyme spring and peppercorn into a large, high-sided saute pan or pot and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and cook until clams open, remove the clams one by one as they open. Shuck the clams, discarding the shell. Chop and set aside. Strain the clam broth through a coffee filter fitted over a strainer or through a cheesecloth; reserve broth.

Brown the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden brown. Add the butter, allow to melt. Add onions, celery and garlic and cooking, sautéing the vegetables until soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add in the reserved broth and potatoes. Season with salt and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir together the cornstarch and warm water to make a slurry. Stir in the slurry until the soup thickens a little.

Finish the chowder by stirring in heavy cream, add the chopped clams. Taste for seasoning and serve. Garnish with sliced chives and serve with oyster crackers on the side.