Pacific Coast Clam Chowder Recipe

Pacific Coast Clam Chowder
Normally, I just add the chowder ingredients, without measuring, to my soup pot. I just taste and add them to my liking. For you, I have attempted to write down my family's recipe. Add or delete to your family's taste. ENJOY!
Recipe Type: ChowderClamsPotatoes
Cuisine: Pacific Northwest
Yields: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min

5 bacon slices, cut into 1/4-inch pieces*
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups milk
Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (as many potatoes as your prefer)
2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans minced clams, undrained
Crackers or bread
* I like to cut off most of the fat from the bacon.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté bacon until crisp and golden brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon; drain bacon on paper towels (drain off the bacon fat from soup pot). Set bacon aside. I don't add the bacon fat back to my clam chowder, but it is your choice!

Reduce heat to low and add butter and stir until melted. Add onions and cook until they are translucent and soft (about 10 to 15 minutes). NOTE: Sautéing the onions in the butter is important to achieve the excellent taste. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

Add flour, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly until well blended. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until sauce comes to a boil and thickens.

Making a large quantity of clam chowder:
Since I usually make a large pot (sometimes a couple of pots) of clam chowder for my family, I make a Rouxwith flour and butter for thickening the chowder to my liking.
First use some of the butter to sauté the onions.
Then using equal parts of butter and flour, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk the flour and butter together. Cook, stirring, it until the flour/butter mixture are well blended and starts to lose its raw flour smell.  NOTE: A good guideline is to use 1 tablespoon of flour for every 2 cups of liquid you have, but adjust to your taste.
Slowly add the milk to the roux, stirring constantly to blend well.
My family likes a thinly-thickened chowder, but thicken to your liking.

Add potatoes and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add cooked bacon, clams and clam liquid; simmer until thoroughly heated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and serve in soup bowls. Serve with crackers or bread.

Makes 8 servings.

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