Tom Colicchio's Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops with Scallop Jus

By • May 6, 2014 14 Comments

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Author Notes: How to get more out of seared scallops -- and cook them perfectly every time. Adapted slightly from Craft of Cooking: Notes and Recipes from a Restaurant Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2003).Genius Recipes

Serves 8

  • 2 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, 1 sprig fresh thyme, and 1 fresh bay leaf tied in cheesecloth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. Remove the tough muscle at the side of each scallop. Reserve the muscles and set the scallops aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the scallop muscles and cook until they are firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the pan is almost dry, about 7 minutes. Add the stock and the herbs. Simmer until the stock has reduced by half. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, then return it to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and keep warm over very low heat.
  3. Dry the scallops with paper towels. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peanut oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet (work in batches if cooking all the scallops at once would crowd the pan). Cook the scallops without moving them until they are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip them and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the thyme. Baste with the foaming butter and cook until they are firm outside but just barely warm at the center, about 30 seconds more. Serve the scallops with a drizzle of the jus.
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Comments (14) Questions (0)

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4 months ago Zelda

I would be tempted to gently cook the scallops in the sauce/jus rather than searing them. I like the briny silkiness of scallops, which is often lost when they are cooked on very high heat. Butter is good, though!

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about 1 year ago Lizziemac69

Great success with these! Fennel is SO underrated! It adds a vibrancy and elegance to the scallop. Relatively new to cooking these little babies, and was delighted to find the trick about making the "foot" into a broth. This recipe was easy, and is absolutely delicious. Will become a staple in our family! Thank you for sharing!

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about 1 year ago Caroline @ shrinking single

These look so amazing. Everytime I cook scallops I wonder why I don't make them more often, especially when they are so quick. Definitely pinning this to my food I want to cook board.

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about 1 year ago Oleron

I also wonder why you use chicken stock. Seems not to be the most appropriate flavor for seafood. I would omit it in favor of using a lesser quantity of water, and make a more concentrated jus.
Can you freeze any unused "jus" to be used for other recipes?

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about 1 year ago aretz

Is there a temperature for the center of the scallop that's recommended to determine done-ness?

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about 1 year ago joschus

I'm wondering why chicken stock is used instead of seafood stock in this dish as well as other seafood dishes!? Thanks for your reply.

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about 1 year ago keihin

There is also the question as to the source of the foaming butter. Should a knob of butter be added to the hot pan, and the result then spooned over the scallops? It seems so, but is less than clear from the directions given.

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about 1 year ago keihin

Whoops. I see it now.

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about 1 year ago keihin

"Serve the scallops with a drizzle of the sauce" - by which, I believe they are referring to the jus.

C8d0fb81-32c9-4937-82ed-fbb6792b65a0.miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, I'll clarify to say jus instead -- thanks keihin!

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about 1 year ago anne

What happened to the jus???

C8d0fb81-32c9-4937-82ed-fbb6792b65a0.miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Anne, see above!

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about 1 year ago Mimi Harrison

The jus doesn't seem to enter into the recipe. Am I wrong??

C8d0fb81-32c9-4937-82ed-fbb6792b65a0.miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Mimi, see my note above -- thanks!