I remember growing up and it was tradition to have Clam chowder on Christmas Eve.. we did it for years and then we switched it to French Dip sandwiches because none of us kids would eat the clam chowder... Now that I have more developed tastebuds and a passion for food, I love clam chowder and we've decided to make it our Christmas Eve tradition. Of course I serve it with chicken strips so my kids will at least eat something that night! So I made it for Christmas eve and my oh my did it turn out good! Iwas even told by several of Darwin's family members thatit was better than their grandma's!!! yes, I can die happy now! I didn't really write out my recipe... but here is what I did.
1/2 lb bacon
2 stalks celery, small diced
1/2 cup flour
6 cans of diced clams, save the juice
2 T butter
2 cups chicken stock
1 T garlic minced
2 cups milk
5 large potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste
Start by dicing the bacon and cook till brown and crispy, drain and set aside. Now one might say, bacon in clam chowder? Won't that take away from the sweet chewiness of the clams?? But I tell yo trust me, it adds a nice smokiness to it and it is tasty!! Next slice the leeks in half then slice then place in a bowl full cold water to clean, the dirt will sink to the bottom and you can scoop out the leeks on to a dry towel. (I use leeks rather than onions because they add a suttle onion flavor) In a large stock pot, melt the butter, saute the garlic and leeks, add the celery and potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add the bacon and flour. The flour should heavily coat all of the chunks of goodness, if it seems like you need more flour go ahead and add more. Add the drained clams. season with a bit of pepper. Add the clam juice and chicken stock, stir well to combine all of the flour. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for at least 45 minutes. If it is too thick add more milk, too thin you can mix some flour and milk and combine it but be sure to bring soup back to a boil to get the full thickness. Season to taste and serve hot with crackers. Mmmmm Mmmmm good!