Chop yellow onion into a small dice.
Slice leeks into ¼ inch pieces.
Soak sliced leeks into cold water to remove any dirt or sand that may exist in leek.
Cut potatoes to a medium dice and place in cold water until ready to use. This prevents potatoes from oxidizing.
Add olive oil to a medium sized sauce pot at high heat, and saute onions and leeks until translucent.
Remove sauteed onions and leeks and set aside.
Lower the heat to a medium low, and deglaze your sauce pot with white wine.
Add chicken stock to your pot and whisk the bottom of your pot to release any leftover flavors from sauteed vegetables.
Drain water from potatoes and give them a quick rinse under cold water to wash off any residual starch.
Add potatoes to your chicken stock and let slowly cook for about twenty-five to thirty minutes.
When potatoes are almost tender enough to eat, add in your sauteed onions and leeks. Continue to simmer.
If using fresh clams, soak them under cold water for about half an hour while potatoes are cooking. They will filter out sand and salt water and take in the fresh water. This term is known as “burping”. If you are using frozen whole clams, skip this step as they have already been processed.
Warm up milk in a small sauce pot and add into your chowder. Bring to a strong simmer.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add in your fresh clams to your chowder. They will be ready when the shells open up. You can remove the clam meat easily if you desire before serving as it is really simply, or serve with the clams whole.
Season with a touch of sea salt.
In a small pan, render down your bacon lardon on medium heat until it is nice and crispy.
Pour your fresh clam chowder into a bowl, garnish with bacon lardon, fresh chives and a few extra clams on top.
Please do not forget the buttery toasted bread!