- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups clam juice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 3 cups 1/2-inch cubed, peeled potatoes, about 1 1/4 pounds
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds Nantucket Bay scallops (regular bay scallops may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives or green onions
In a large heavy pot cook the bacon until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add the 3 tablespoons of the butter, onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves, and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Add the potatoes and clam juice, chicken stock, and white wine bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender. (If you like a thicker broth, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.) Remove from the heat, stir in half and half and season with pepper and salt, if necessary.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add half of scallops and sauté until light golden, about 2 minutes. Add scallops to chowder. Repeat with remaining butter and scallops.
Set aside for 1 hour, covered, to allow the flavors to marry. Place the pot over low heat, and slowly reheat, being careful not to bring to the boil. Serve hot, garnished with parsley and chives.