I was craving clam chowder the other day after watching a food show where they were making clam chowder. So I went looking for recipes, and found this one, which wasn't hard at all. So, so good. If you don't like clams, though, go ahead and skip this because it's got lots of clam flavor.
Adapted from Epicurious
3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup all purpose flour
7 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved from 6 of the cans
1 1/2 cups half and half
Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.