New England Clam Chowder with Old Bay Oyster Crackers

 

An American classic really, I remember loving this chowder as a kid as long as it wasn't wallpaper paste. We used to collect up clams while on spring break in Florida and my mom would whip up a batch of something similar. I also have lots of sunburned memories of Cape Cod thrown into the mix here too.

What you will need

5 cups oyster crackers

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

a two finger pinch fine sea salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eight oz. bottles Bar Harbor clam juice

2 six oz. cans Bar Harbor clams, chop them if they are whole, juice drained and reserved

4 ounces bacon, diced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cups yellow onion, peeled and small dice

1 cup celery, washed, trimmed and small dice

1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced

1/8 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 dried bay leaves

2 tablespoons all purpose flour (optional, depends on if you want thick chowder or not)

2 cups yukon gold potatoes, peeled and 1/2 inch dice

16 ounces 1/2 & 1/2

kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper

1 tablespoon chives, minced

1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced

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