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Boston Clam Chowder

2-slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1-cup chopped onion
1-cup chopped celery
¼-cup all-purpose flour
2-cups clam juice
2-6oz cans diced clams, drained with juice reserved
2-6oz cans whole clams, drained with juice reserved
1 ¾-cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes
1-tsp dried thyme
1-bay leaf
2-cups half & half or milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Sauté onion and celery in 1-tbsp of bacon drippings until tender, about 5-8 minutes
Stir in flour; cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute
Stir in clam juices, potatoes, bacon and herbs; heat to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes
Stir in half & half and drained clams; cook over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes
Discard bay leaf and season to taste with salt & pepper