This is based on the Best Recipe version of Clam Chowder. I had happened upon 1lb frozen packages of mixed seafood consisting of shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari, so I bought one thinking I could use it in a chowder. I used the aforementioned clam chowder recipe with some modifications, and the results were so incredibly good I ate almost all of it in one sitting (I really did). It would be pretty easy for me to duplicate, but I thought I would write it all down to document exactly how I did it. I mean, it was REALLY good.
1 lb package of mixed shellfish (the one I found had shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari)
2 bottles clam juice 8oz ea
2 cups water (16 oz, use the clam juice bottles to measure)
5.5 oz thick-cut bacon (about 4 slices), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium to large Spanish onion, diced medium
4 tablespoons flour
3 medium boiling potatoes (about 1-1/2lbs), scrubbed and diced medium.
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (well, or more)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and ground black or white pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1) Combine bottled clam juice with the water. Thaw the package of mixed shellfish in cool water.
2) Fry bacon in kettle over medium-low heat until crisp and fat has been rendered (note: I use a 4-1/2 quart Le Creuset, which works fine).
3) Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons flour and stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute.
4) Gradually whisk in clam juice mixture. Add potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; simmer until potatoes about 10 minutes - they should be almost tender (don't let them get too soft, they're easy to overcook).
5) Melt 4 tablespoons butter and stir in 1/4 cup flour. Cook until bubbly to make a roux. Gradually stir the roux into the soup until you reach a fairly thick consistency (you probably won't use all the roux). At this point the thickness should be greater than the desired final chowder because you will be adding more liquid.
6) Add the mixed shellfish along with juices, cream, parsley, and salt and ground pepper to taste (chowders traditionally are rather salty). Bring to simmer and cook until the shellfish is barely done (I use the shrimp to test for doneness) and serve.