4 quarts fresh littleneck clams, for 1⅔ cups cooked and chopped (see note)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 cup water
2 ounces salted pork, finely chopped
2 cups onion chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
4½ cups clam broth
3 cups fish stock
2 cups light cream
Oyster crackers, optional
Clean the clams and place in a large pot along with the garlic and water. Steam just until opened, about 6-10 minutes depending on their size. (Discard any unopened clams.) Drain and shell the clam, reserving the broth. Mince the clam flesh and set aside. Strain the clam broth either through coffee filters or cheesecloth and set aside.
In a large heavy pot, slowly render the salt pork. Remove the cracklings and set aside. Slowly cook the onions in the fat for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently until cooked through but not browned. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
Slowly add and whisk the reserved broth, purchased clam broth (to equal 4½ cups total clam broth) and fish stock until smooth. Bring to a boil, and then add the potatoes. Lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the reserved clams, salt pork, cracklings and light cream. Heat the chowder until warmed. Serve with oyster crackers on the side.
Cook's note: You can use 3, 16-ounce containers frozen clams instead of fresh. Chop clams and set aside. Add garlic when sauteing onions.