Generally, shucked clams with juice will provide ample salt water, so no additional salt is needed." But, Captain Ron warns, "If you can't get fresh shucked clams, there is no alternative for this recipe. Make sardine sandwiches, which are also very good."
Captain Ron's Clam Chowder
1 cup water
4 dozen fresh clams, scrubbed
8 bacon slices, chopped
4 onions, chopped (about 5 cups)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large potatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups half-and-half
Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add clams, and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until shells open. Strain cooking water from Dutch oven into a container, discarding any sediment. Shuck clams into a bowl, discarding shells and any whole clams that do not open. Coarsely chop clams, and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Set bacon aside.
Sauté onions and garlic in hot drippings over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and thyme, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle flour over potato mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add reserved clam water and clam juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, over medium heat 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender.