I am a huge fan of chowders and I am constantly on the search for good clam chowder whenever Ryan and I dine out. Of all of the chowders that I have tried, I prefer those that are not to thick or heavy. Instead, I prefer my clam chowder a little thinner and lighter. This clam chowder recipe is just that and it is full of flavor: clams, crispy bacon, fresh carrots and celery, sauteed onions, white wine and cream.
In a dutch oven or large pot, cook bacon until brown. Remove bacon and set aside, reserve 2 tablespoons of pan drippings.
In the same pot, cook onion and bay leaves, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add flour, cook two minutes. Add wine to deglaze the pan (Note: Be sure to scrape any good bits that have stuck to the bottom, its where the yummy flavor is!). Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, potatoes and reserved clam juice, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
Add about 3 tablespoons of the hot broth to the cream slowly to temper it so that the cream won't clump when you add it to the broth.
Reduce the heat, slowly add the cream. Add the clams and bacon pieces. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Serve.