Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings.
In a large saucepan, bring milk, water and salt to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, 5-7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in maple syrup, half of the cooked bacon and reserved drippings.
In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot grits into eggs until blended; return all to pan, mixing well. Transfer to a greased 8-in. square baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining bacon and, if desired, chives; let stand 5 minutes before serving.