Clam Chowder For Two
For the clams, either:
- 1 cup water
- 2 pounds medium hard-shell clams, such as cherrystones, scrubbed
- 2 6.5-oz cans clams, drained and chopped coarse
- 1 8-oz bottle clam juice
For the chowder:
- 2 slices of bacon, chopped fine
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, minced
- 1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme or pinch dried
- 2 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 Yukon Gold potato (8 oz), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
If using fresh clams:
Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add clams, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir clams thoroughly, cover, and continue to cook until they just begin to open, 2 to 5 minutes. As clams open, transfer them to a bowl and let cool slightly. Discard any unopened clams.
Measure out and reserve 1 cup of clam steaming liquid, avoiding any gritty sediment that has settled on bottom of saucepan. Using paring knife, remove clam meat from shells and chop coarse.
For the chowder:
In a clean saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in broth and either the reserved clam steaming liquid (if you steamed fresh clams) or the clam juice (if you didn't have time), scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in pototoes, bring to simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Off heat, stir in chopped fresh or canned clams and cream and let sit until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crackers or bread.