Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high and add the diced bacon.
Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of water in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap, vented on one edge for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon until just crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan, and return to medium heat.
Add the shallot, garlic, and thyme. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the shallot is softened.
Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and add to the pan.
Cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in the chicken stock, heavy whipping cream and cream cheese.
Raise the heat and bring to a boil to melt the cream cheese and thicken the chowder, stirring frequently.
Carefully add the cauliflower, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cheddar cheese.
Divide the soup between 4 bowls and top with an equal amount of the bacon and extra fresh thyme, if desired.