From: Captain Kidd’s, Redondo Beach, CA. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
½ package bacon (large chunks)
Clams & Fresh Clam Juice:
100 fresh local clams
1 cup white wine
¼ lb. whole butter, unsalted (1 stick)
3 cups white onion, medium dice
1½ cups celery, medium dice
1½ cups leeks, cleaned and medium dice
1 cup white wine
5 cups clam juice (reserved from above)
4 cups Yukon Gold potato, medium dice, save ends
3½ cups heavy cream
1¾ cups whole milk
to taste, salt and pepper
clams (reserved from previous step)
For bacon: Chop your favorite bacon into large chunks and cook on medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel and reserve.
For clams and fresh clam juice: Heat a large pot over high heat until hot. Transfer drained clams to pot and add white wine. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Once all the clams are open, transfer them to a large bowl filled with ice water. Using a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, carefully strain clam juice from pot. Reserve juice. Once clams are cold, remove meat and discard shells. Chop cleaned clams into large chunks and reserve.
For clam chowder: Dice white onion and reserve. Dice celery, wash in cold water, strain, and reserve. Dice leeks, wash in cold water, strain and reserve. Dice Yukon Gold potatoes, save scraps and reserve both in cold water.
In a small pot, add potato ends and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until potatoes become mushy.
In a large pot (2 gallons), melt butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add onion, celery and leeks; cook until they become soft, stirring frequently.
Add white wine and reduce by half. Add clam juice, diced potatoes, heavy cream and whole milk. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until potatoes are tender, then turn off heat.
Strain potato scraps and transfer the scraps to the blender. Ladle a small portion of the cooking liquid into the blender and puree until smooth. Add puree back into remaining chowder.
Add reserved bacon and clams to chowder. Mix to incorporate evenly, then taste. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.