Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C salt 
  • 1 C hot water
  • 4 C ice water
  • 1 lb large scallops – 1-1/2″ wide, about 14 to 16
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp garlic – minced
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1 C unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp capers – rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • pepper – for seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill – chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chives – chopped
  • 1 lemon – cut into 6 wedges

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine salt and hot water, stirring to dissolve the salt
  2. Add ice water to cool the brine
  3. Add scallops to the brine and let stand for 10 minutes
  4. Line a sheet pan with paper towels – set aside
  5. Drain the scallops, rinse under cold water, and then arrange in a single layer on the paper towel-lined sheet pan
  6. Place another paper towel on top of the scallops and gently pat scallops – remove as much surface moisture as possible for the best browning results when cooked
  7. Allow scallops to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before cooking
  8. While scallops are resting, prepare remaining ingredients in individual bowls – this will make it so much easier while cooking the scallops
  9. In a 12″ saute pan or cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until oil ripples and just begins to smoke
  10. Sprinkle scallops lightly with salt on both sides
  11. Place scallops into the hot pan without crowding
  12. Gently press scallops with a spatula to make direct contact with the pan
  13. Sear scallops without moving them – cook until bottoms are a rich golden brown – about 3 – 3-1/2 minutes – do not turn over yet
  14. Add butter to the pan
  15. Turn the scallops over and cook the second side – use a spoon to baste the scallops with the butter, tilting the pan to collect the butter as needed
  16. When the scallops are opaque in color and firm to the touch, about 1 – 2 minutes, turn off heat and transfer to a plate – do not discard pan
  17. In the same pan used for cooking the scallops turn heat to medium
  18. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant but not browned
  19. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine
  20. Simmer wine, stirring as needed until the wine is reduced by half – about 3 minutes (this will also cook out the alcohol)
  21. Turn heat to high and add the chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice and capers to the pan
  22. Cook until sauce is reduced by half, about 1/2 C – about 8 – 10 minutes
  23. Turn off heat and whisk in dijon mustard
  24. Turn heat to medium and add scallops back to pan
  25. Cook until warm – about 2 minutes
  26. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed
  27. Garnish scallops with chopped dill, chives and serve immediately with lemon wedges
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