E.J Harvey makes his famous Island Quahog Chowder.
Place clams and 16 cups water in a very large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until clams have opened. Drain, reserving liquid, and discarding any unopened clams. Remove clams from shells, discarding shells. Coarsely chop clams and set aside.
Heat bacon and butter in a second very large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery; stir to coat. Add flour and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add thyme and stir to combine.
Add reserved clam cooking liquid and bay leaves; season with Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Add heavy cream; let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add potatoes; let simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Add reserved chopped clams and cook until just heated through.
Serve hot with oyster crackers.