Heat the stock in small pot over medium heat.
In a large soup pot over medium to medium-high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes to brown, add the onion, celery, potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and corn. As you chop and add items to the pot, keep the pot covered so the vegetables sweat faster and the heat stays trapped in the pot. Once all of the vegetables are chopped and into the soup pot, add the hot stock and bring to boil, it should happen almost immediately. Season the haddock with the seafood seasoning. Add the haddock, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the fish 5 to 6 minutes then uncover and gently break up the haddock into chunks. Stir to combine, then add the milk, cream and butter. Simmer and reduce for 5 to 6 minutes more.
While the chowder is reducing, combine the chives, dill and lemon zest in a small bowl as an optional garnish for the soup. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the bay leaves, ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve with crackers, hot sauce, and the herb-lemon mixture, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray