I never gave you an update on my attempt:
I cleaned the grocery store out of the little bottles of clam juice. The guy gave me a discount 'cause i bought like 13 bottles. It wasnt quite a gallon and I needed a full recipe for the sunday football crew (we eat like KINGS & QUEENS). Everything was perfect up to the point that I felt a need to add more liquid. I wondered what to add, so I scoured a few more chowder recipes on the web ..... it looked like chicken broth was used in alot in conjunction with clam juice so I added 1 can and some water to make up the difference of my lacking gallon. Everything else was right on..... i had good clams, fat back rendered down in the cast iron pot, perfect sauteed onions ....... I DID NOT add the tomatoe puree. I had it if the crew wanted it. The house smelled wonderful. I transferred the chowder to a big crock pot to serve it from(cause we all hang out in the garage for foorball). I sat back and watched every one tear it up. Most folks went with a small bowl cause they had never seen that clear style before, all said they loved it as they went in for a bigger round two. I had a bowl before anyone showed up and was mad i put the chicken broth in, I should have just went with water like the recipe called for but was worried it would've diluted it down too much ... it was still good but next time no broth! I talked with the grocery guy and he said he could get me a gallon of clam juice from the specialty supplier! Next time it will be perfect! Thanks abunch for bringing back some New England memories ..... clam fritters next!!!