Six 6.5-oz. cans of chopped clams
Four 8-oz. bottles of clam juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 thick cut bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. (6-7 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, diced and covered with water
8 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied into a bundle
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat and add bacon. Cook bacon for 8-10 minutes or until browned and fat is rendered. Add chopped onions and cook 10 minutes or until translucent but not browned.
2. Turn heat up to medium and add diced potatoes. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle flour over the bacon-onion-potato mixture. Add clam juice, milk and heavy cream, whisking well to make sure there are no lumps of flour.
4. Add the bay leaves, pepper, and thyme bundle. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and the chowder has thickened.
5. Serve with Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce on the side.