In a large stockpot bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add clams, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, quickly stir clams with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer (this will depend on the type and size of clams you are using), or until most of the clams are opened.
Transfer the clams to a large bowl or baking dish and strain the broth twice through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, being careful to strain out the sand. (You should have about 6 cups of clam broth. If not, add enough water to bring the volume up to 6 cups.) When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop into ½-inch pieces. Set clams and broth aside.
In a large heavy pot cook the bacon until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add the butter, onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves, and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender. (If you like a thicker broth, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.) Remove from the heat, stir in clams and heavy cream and season with pepper and salt, if necessary.
Set aside for 1 hour, covered, to allow the flavors to marry. Place the pot over low heat, and slowly reheat, being careful not to bring to the boil. Serve hot, garnished with 1 or 2 pats of butter, parsley and chives.
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|Serving Size: 1 Recipe (4158g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1 Recipe|
|Calories from Fat: 2050 (46%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 227.7g||304 %|
|Saturated Fat 124g||620 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 55.4g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 17.6g|
|Cholesterol 1834.4mg||564 %|
|Sodium 5734mg||198 %|
|Potassium 12229.3mg||322 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 110.9g||33 %|
|Dietary Fiber 4.9g||20 %|
|Sugars, other 106g|
|Protein 472.5g||675 %|
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Calories per serving: 4476
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