This is a thick clam chowder. I like so a spoon will stand up in it. I learned how to make chowder from my Dad that was the head cook at a large army hospital after he retired from 22 yrs in the army himself. After he retired from his second career and Mom retired from her career as the lead chef at a large restaurant. They opened up a little Ma and Pop restaurant themselves ! I would go and help them part time. On Friday Dad would have 10 gallons of chowder ready and they would sell out !
1Peel and cube potatoes and soak in heavy salted water for an hour. ( 1 cup salt to a gallon. ) This is a trick my Dad showed me. Soaking potatoes in salt water helps them keep their shape and not break down during cooking.
2Saute you onions and celery in a little bit of butter or bacon grease.
3Make your clam broth. Make sure that your broth is cold before adding the potatoes. You can use clam juice if you like but I find that way to expensive. You can find clam base at a Cash and Carry restaurant supply store. Or on line. A 16 oz. jar will make 5 gallons of broth and runs about 7 dollars and keeps forever in the fridge.
4Add potatoes, celery, onions, thyme, white pepper, and bacon to cold broth. Bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If using canned add juice from the can now.
5Make your rue. Melt the 1 cup butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour making sure the is no lumps. Turn down to med- low and stir for 5 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool slightly.
6Add your shredded carrot to the pot. Remove 2 cups of stock and mix with cream and gradually mix in with your rue. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
7Gradually stir into potato mixture.
8Add your clams. If using canned add juice from can. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until heated through and clams are done. Salt and pepper to taste.