New England clam chowder is a classic dish that is beloved for its rich and creamy texture, as well as its delicious flavor. To prepare this dish, you will need the following ingredients: fresh clams, bacon, onions, potatoes, celery, butter, flour, milk, and heavy cream.
First, start by cleaning and scrubbing the clams to remove any dirt or sand. Place the clams in a large pot with a small amount of water and steam them until they open. Once the clams have opened, remove them from the pot and set them aside. Strain the clam juice and reserve it for later use.
Next, in a separate pot, cook the bacon until it is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot. Add diced onions, celery, and potatoes to the pot and cook them until they are soft. Then, add butter and flour to the pot to create a roux, which will thicken the chowder.
Once the roux is ready, slowly add the clam juice, milk, and heavy cream to the pot, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook until it thickens. Finally, add the clams and cooked bacon to the pot, and season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the New England clam chowder hot, garnished with fresh parsley and oyster crackers. This hearty and comforting soup is perfect for a cozy night in or a special dinner with friends and family. Enjoy!