Skillet Corn with Bacon and Onions

4 ears of corn, shucked
2 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup water, milk or cream
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic chives

Stand 1 ear of corn upright, pointed end down, in a large bowl and cut kernels from cob using a sharp paring knife. Scrape any remaining corn with its milk from cob into bowl using back edge of knife and discard cob. Remove kernels from remaining ears in same manner.
Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet (2 inches deep) over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cook onion in fat remaining in skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn, garlic, and water (skillet will be very full) and cook over moderately high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in garlic chives and salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with bacon.

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