Leah Chase's Holiday Oyster Dressing
Recipe courtesy of Chef Leah Chase, Dookie Chase Restaurant, New Orleans, LA
Serves 6 to 8
Holiday Oyster Dressing
Click image to enlarge
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Drain oysters, reserving liquid and coarsely chop. Break bread into 1-inch cubes and place in large mixing bowl. Add oyster liquid and 3/4 cup water. Allow bread to soak until water is absorbed.
In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and stir constantly until golden brown. Ground meat should be well-browned, 15-20 minutes. Add onions, celery bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add bread, any remaining liquid from bowl and chopped oysters. Blend well into vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for approximately 15-20 minutes. Season to taste using thyme, cayenne pepper salt and parsley.
Pour mixture into mixing bowl. Stir and cool slightly, 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beaten eggs, blending quickly into warm mixture to keep from scrambling. Pour mixture into 9 x 13-inch baking pan and top with breadcrumbs.
Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
Chef's note: Leah suggests placing the bread slices on a cookie sheet covered with clear wrap one to two days prior to making this stuffing or use day-old or stale bread.