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Game day recipe: Davio's clam chowder

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When you think of New England, a few things come to mind. One is our undying devotion to our sports teams. Another is creamy and comforting clam chowder. Our friends at Davio's let us in on their recipe, so you can enjoy a hot cup of it on a chilly game day, even if you're not at Patriot Place.

Davio's Clam Chowder

Makes 4 8-10 oz. servings

Ingredients
3 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed
5 thick slices Niman Applewood smoked bacon, cut into lardons (stack the bacon strips, cut width-wise into little rectangular pieces)
2 medium Spanish onions, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups baby Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups heavy cream
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

First, put clams in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and cook covered for 6 minutes on high heat. Remove the clams that have opened with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Recover the pan and cook the remaining clams until they open for roughly 2 more minutes. Discard any unopened clams, but save the liquid in a saucepan.

Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and pour the liquid from the saucepan through. Save the collected clam juice and get rid of any debris left in the saucepan. Wipe the saucepan clean.

Remove the clam meat from their shells and set aside. You can keep the shells for presentation or throw them away.

Over medium heat, cook the bacon lardons until brown and crispy. Add in the diced onions and celery with some light seasoning and cook until translucent, stirring roughly every 5 minutes. Toss in the chopped potatoes, stirring them every 5 minutes. While the potatoes cook, pour in the heavy cream and let everything simmer for 10 minutes. Gradually stir in the clam juice, as well as the bay leaves and thyme.

Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes cook through and the soup has thickened. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and stir in the clams that were set aside. Add salt and pepper to your liking for a little extra seasoning.

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