The Freezer Tiki Bar doesn’t share the recipe for its tasty, super-thick clam chowder, but this is mighty close.
Serves 6 to 8
3 (8 oz.) bottles clam juice
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 tbsp. butter
2 c. chopped sweet onions
1 and 1/4 c. chopped fresh celery with leaves
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
6 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
2 c. heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Oyster crackers for serving
Combine bottled clam juice and potatoes in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to mediumlow, cover pan, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Melt butter in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery, parsley, 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, cream, cream cheese, and sour cream.
Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve with oyster crackers.