Herbed Oyster & Bacon Dressing
From Epicurious.com. Originally published in Gourmet, c. 1992.
This 4-fork (4-star) recipe came into our lives through Epicurious.com and our holidays have never been the same. Crusty french bread, herbs, bacon and fresh oysters. Need we say more? Well, OK Read more reviews here.
|Yield| 10 to 15 servings, about 10 cups
Active time: 1 hr. Total time: 2 hr
Cooks' note: Dressing can be assembled (without oysters and not baked) 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature and stir in oysters before baking.
2 loaves Italian or French bread (1 lb total), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)
1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme, crumbled
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage or 2 tsp dried sage, crumbled
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
18 oysters, shucked, drained, and chopped (3/4 cup)
2 1/4 cups turkey giblet stock or low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Spread bread cubes in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden, 25 to 30 minutes total. Cool bread in pans on racks, and then transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.
If bacon renders less than 1/4 cup fat, add enough oil to skillet to total 1/4 cup fat. Cook onions, celery, thyme, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper in fat in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread cubes, and then stir in bacon, parsley, butter, and oysters. Drizzle with stock, then season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3- to 3 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.