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Chef John's Bay Scallop Chowder

Rated as 4.89 out of 5 Stars

"Every once in a while I make a dish that no matter how great it tastes, I just can't get past how it looks, and that was the case with this very easy, incredibly delicious scallop chowder. If you do make it, and want a thicker, more traditional chowder base, simply mash some of your potatoes into the mixture."
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45 m servings 300
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until fat renders and bacon is slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion to bacon; cook and stir until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir celery and garlic into onion mixture, cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Watch Now
  2. Pour clam juice, chicken broth, potato, cayenne pepper, and black pepper into bacon mixture; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until potatoes are almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir cream and chile pepper into potato mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are completely tender and chowder flavors combine, about 5 minutes. Season with lemon zest and salt. Watch Now
  3. Stir scallops into chowder and cook over medium heat until scallops are tender and white, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in tarragon. Watch Now

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 300 calories; 11.1 17.2 32.9 97 642 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 28
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I loved this. I made two small changed, though I would have given it a "5" rating even without the changes. First, I omitted the bacon, as I follow a pescetarian diet. I also added mixed, sl...

This was delicious! It has a pretty good "kick" with the red Fresno pepper, so if a little heat is a problem, use only half of the pepper. The red flecks are really pretty, though, so don't cut...

Followed recipe as written and shown - except there were no bay scallops at the store! So I substituted the large ones and cut them into small pieces. I think I loved this more than my husband...

Fantastic as usual Chef John. I made it with 2 cups of canned clams instead of scallops and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

I made this chowder to the letter, EXCEPT I doubled the bacon (cuz who doesn't want more bacon?) and since I couldn't find a Fresno pepper, I used a hot chili pepper. I took Chef John's advice...

I was looking for a five star clam chowder recipe so I thought I'd sub some delicious clams, fresh from the sound. I made it exactly as Chef John prescribed until I got to the end and tasted it....

I used 8 oz of bacon. I would recommend omitting the oil if you do. There was a lot of extra oil that wasn’t needed. I also used seafood stock instead of chicken broth. Other than that, it w...

So delicious, Chef John! And the next day was even better! I made the stacked tomato burrata salad as appetizer! And as always weeeeeee enjoyed!!!!!

I liked the flavor of this and it was really easy a quick to make. The soup/broth looked a little strange almost a buttery appearance of oil/water trying to separate. But the flavor made it well...