How to Make It
Prepare the clams In a large saucepan, combine the wine, garlic, shallot, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the clams, cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a large baking sheet; discard the cooking liquid. Let the clams cool slightly, then split the shells in half and transfer the clam meat to a small bowl. Clean 24 of the shell halves and arrange on the baking sheet; discard the remaining shells.
Make the filling In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and just crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, garlic and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook until reduced to a thin glaze, about 4 minutes. Stir in the shucked clams, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and salt. Let cool slightly.
Make the topping In a medium bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the parsley, lemon zest and cheese. Season lightly with salt.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Put 1 clam in each half shell. Top the clams with the filling and the topping. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and the tops are golden. Serve with lemon wedges.