Favorite Oyster Stuffing Recipe?
I've decided to try making an oyster-based stuffing to go with the turkey this Christmas, and have been perusing recipes for a few weeks. I haven't been incredibly moved by what I've found, mostly because it's been hard to tell which iteration will really be the most successful/tasty.
Does anyone here have a favorite version? Something you've actually tried and liked?
I'm open to any kind of oyster-based stuffing -- cornbread or not, sausage or not... whatever.
As promised, I am reporting back on my oyster dressing/stuffing adventures. Thanks to everyone for your input, we ended up with an extremely delicious dish that I'm sure will return year after year (and even on its own, separate from the holidays).
I ended up using the Saveur recipe MMRuth recommended as a base (I appreciated the tip about the dryness, and took steps to remedy it.):
I made several additions:
- add 1 link of raw chorizo, stripped of its skin, and sauteed in the pan as the bacon finished crisping
- add 1 lb. sliced baby bella (crimini) mushrooms -- I love mushrooms in stuffing
- I substituted homemade cornbread (the "northern cornbread" recipe from Cook's Illustrated) for 1/4 of the bread called for in the recipe
- I added two beaten eggs
- I also added an extra cup of chicken stock, poured over the top, after putting the mixed dressing into the baking pan. It looked a little too liquidy, but after baking, I was glad I'd made the addition. The final consistency was pretty near perfect. I suspect it would have happily taken another 1/2 cup on top of that, and will try this next time.
The oyster taste was present, but not overwhelming, the smoky/spiciness from the bacon and chorizo was really lovely, and the cornbread offered a good flavor and texture profile.
This also kept well, and served as a hearty lunch for several days afterwards.
My Thanksgiving dressing was the usual bread/onion/sage kind plus a half-pound of browned bulk Tennessee country sausage and just two jars of oysters, plus most of their liquor. The only other fluids were melted butter, two eggs, and broth, giving a dressing that would bake up firmly and still be malleable enough for some to be stuffed under the breast skin. This was favorably commented on by the rest of the family, so I think I've found a recipe I'll stick with.
This recipe has been in my family for lord knows how long, it is a staple at every holiday meal
2 # lean ground meat
1 # ground pork
3 doz oysters and oyster water
1 ½ cup chopped onions
½ cup celery
8 chicken livers chopped
8 chicken gizzards chopped
Brown ground meat and pork. Drain excess grease. Fry onions, celery in ½ stick of butter until onions are soft. Add ground meat, livers and gizzards. Cook for about an hour. Add oysters & oyster water and cook for about 15 minutes more. Dressing should be moist, not dry. After dressing cools for a while, break 2 eggs in dressing and beat well.
She would typically stuff the turkey with it, but you can always cook it on its own in the oven and call it oyster dressing.
I do oyster and chestnut stuffing every year I am stateside. Do the chestnuts the day before; along with a favorite CD and a glass of wine. They are a pain in the butt, but worth it.
Morning of: poach 1/2 pint of shucked oysters with a pat of butter, turn them once. Seperately, Prepare a whole bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing, with butter and chicken stock. when the oysters are plump and poached, put them on a plate and dice them (not mince) into nice cubes. Save the liquor or toss it. A little oyster goes a long way. Add a hefty dose of sage with the chestnuts as you fold in the oyster pieces, mix enough to distribute the ingredients evenly. Stuff. I usually do a double batch with a back-up pan of dressing, because it disappears quickly.
What has worked best in my family, from my mother and grandmother, is to make a basic sage dressing. I put in yellow cornmeal rather than cornbread. We make one large pan of this and take out enough for a smaller pan to which a pint of fresh oysters is added. The only thing to be careful about is having it too soupy after the oysters and liquid are added. You can always add more bread if necessary. Well seasoned turkey broth is essential.