You can adjust the thickness of the chowder by changing the flour amount. From as little as 1 Tablespoon for a thin, almost broth-like chowder, to 1/4 cup or slightly more for a thick chowder.
We prefer to use whole clams that we find in our market in the 10 oz cans. But most markets carry the 6.5 oz minced clams, so the recipe is written for minced clams. If you can find whole clams, then even better! If so, we normally use one 10 oz. can of whole clams.
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4slices(4slices)bacon, cut into small chunks
1(1 )onion, diced
2cloves(2cloves)garlic, minced or crushed
3medium(3medium)potatoes (about ½ pound), peeled and diced
1/2teaspoon(2.5ml)dried thyme or oregano leaves
1/4teaspoon(1.25ml)fresh crack black pepper
1teaspoon(5ml)salt, or to personal taste
8ounce(227g)bottle of clam juice
2(6.5 oz cans)(2(184g cans))clams in juices, drained but save the juices
Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp and fat is released. Remove the pieces of bacon and set aside.
In the same pot, stir in the onions and garlic. Cook until softened and translucent but not burnt, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the water, potatoes, celery, Worcestershire, dried herbs, black pepper, salt, bottle of clam juice, juice from the 2 cans (but not the clams), and heavy cream.
Bring the chowder to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer chowder on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and milk until smooth. After the first 15 minutes of simmering, stir in the flour/milk mixture to the pot. Stir in the minced or whole clams. Increase heat to get the soup to a low boil. (Note: do not add the flour/milk mixture & clams until you have simmered the chowder for the first 15 minutes to cook the potatoes.)
Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 more minutes until the chowder is thickened or until heated through.
Serve the chowder with the pieces of bacon on top.