I love this recipe because its hardy, creamy, delicious and the bread is so good after its soaked up all that yummy soup! It's a perfect lunch all alone or dinner served with a side salad.
Technique tip: Adding the clams at the end will prevent them from toughening up. You can adjust the thickness to your liking by adding chicken stock or more clam juice or finish it with some heavy cream.
Swap option: You could vary this up by adding shrimp or any fish of your choice for a seafood chowder.
In a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, cook bacon until desired crispiness. Remove bacon from pot and set aside on paper towels. Remove some of drippings and leave about 2 tablespoons in pot. Add the butter, garlic, onions, celery and potatoes, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add thyme and stir until fragrant.2.
Add the flour to the pot, stir and scrape bottom with wooden spoon and cook a few minutes until it starts to brown slightly. Add warmed milk and continue stirring until thickened. Add reserved clam juice, corn and sherry. Let simmer for about 15 min or until potatoes are softened. Add clams and 1/2 the bacon and cook until warmed through for a couple minutes.3.
Serve in bread bowls and garnish with remaining bacon and chives.