Fry the chopped bacon in a skillet. When it has browned, remove it from the skillet, mix the corn flour with the grease and cook briefly to make a simple roux.
Then drop the bacon, roux, vegetables and rockfish (if using) into the Crock-Pot, set it on medium or low, and come back in 6–8 hours to some awesome chowder.
Obviously, you don’t want to cook your clams for 6 hours. So drop them in (uncooked) sometime in the last 15 minutes, depending on how hot the Crock-Pot is cooking (you want it to be boiling at this point). Once the clams open they are done. If you’re using Basket cockles (especially the big baseball-sized ones), you’ll want to remove them from the shell once they open, chop them up, and return them to the chowder as otherwise they are a large mouthful. Likewise, if you’re using Gaper siphons, slam them for a few seconds with a tenderizing hammer, and then cut them into small pieces before adding to the pot.
Put into bowls, top with chopped parsley and enjoy with some fresh sourdough bread.
About this recipe
Find more recipes in the book, The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast.