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The surprising thing about oyster dressing is that it has no “fishy” taste. The secret to a superbly flavored oyster dressing is that oysters must be absolutely fresh.
This recipe for stuffing cannot be made ahead or from frozen oysters or those refrigerated overnight.
In fact, your family and guests will never know there are oysters in their stuffing if the oysters are used soon after purchase. You can buy oysters in the shell or ask your local seafood store to shell them at the time of purchase to ensure freshness.
The Elegance of Oyster Dressing
It’s herbs and spices that give oyster dressing more flavor. These should also be fresh rather than dried.
Don’t forget to serve traditional winter vegetables like rutabaga puree, white turnips in mustard vinaigrette, roasted half ears of corn rolled in crispy fried onions, baked acorn squash with ginger and lime or garlic sauteed kale and grated orange zest and mustard seed.
There are several types of ingredients that enhance the flavor of oyster dressing for chicken or turkey stuffing or to serve it as a side dish. You may want to invest in a shrimp boil spice like Old Bay to make your oyster dressing authentic.
To make a New England style oyster dressing, you need fresh green herbs such as chives, chervil and parsley. Also, choose white onions which are more pungent than yellow and shallots.
Depending on the quantity of oyster stuffing you plan to make, you generally need about 6 whole oysters for every 4 cups of bread cubes. Too many oysters can overwhelm the rest of the ingredients just as too little a quantity undermines the bread and spices nuance.Print
- 1 pound white bread slices (dried in a 250°F oven for 1 hour, about 10 to 12 cups torn)
- ¾ cup butter or margarine
- 2 cups finely chopped celery
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- ½ cup milk, scalded
- 3 containers of fresh or canned oysters (16 to 24 ounces total) drained
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sauté onion and celery in butter.
- Tear the dried bread up into a large bowl; sprinkle with warm milk then toss to coat.
- Add onion and celery mixture and the drained oysters.
- Stir gently to mix ingredients together. Sprinkle with lemon juice, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Mix thoroughly but gently.