Over MED-LOW heat, add a small drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of a large dutch oven. Add bacon pieces and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon (or tongs) to a paper towel lined plate, reserving drippings in pot.
Increase heat to MED and add onion, celery and leeks and sauté about 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables. Cook 1 minute.
Add potatoes, chicken broth, clam juice, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and tabasco sauce. Stir well, then bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmering about 15 minutes or so, until potatoes are fork tender.
Add half and half to chowder, along with the chopped clams, and stir well to combine.
Increase heat to MED and cook, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and thickened to desired consistency.
Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with cooked bacon and enjoy!