A friend asked me if I had found an oyster dressing recipe when I was in South Carolina last week. No, but I make it every year at Thanksgiving! So, here, in my general and not-for-real-cookbook fashion, is how I make the dressing every year. Back to introspection soon.
This is actually my mother’s recipe with a few little tweaks by me.
- 1 stick of butter, or more
- 1 large onion, diced or cut into small pieces
- 1 cup or more of sliced celery
- 1 9-inch cornbread, made however you like, though best to omit sugar
- 2 cups bread stuffing; I use the seasoned kind
- Additional herbs that you like: rosemary, sage, tarragon, poultry seasoning, etc.
- Options: 1 cup of nuts (I like pecans) or diced tart apple.
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 pint raw oysters and juice
- 1 box chicken broth (you may not need it all)
Melt butter in a large pan. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until onion is clear. Smell it. MMM. Smells like Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs (or just use two cornbreads). Add seasonings and other optional dry ingredients. Mix completely.
Add onion mixture, eggs, and oysters, plus all the “oyster water” (gives flavor). Stir gently, and add chicken broth until evenly moist, but not soppy wet. Sprinkle paprika on top to make it pretty.
Spoon dressing into a large greased (PAM) baking dish, or smaller ones, whatever you have.
Bake 45 minutes to an hour at whatever temperature your oven is on for other stuff you are baking. If all alone, do 375 degrees. Dressing is done when it browns along the edges.