- 1 qt. Oysters and their liquor
- 1 Stick of butter
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 3 Scallions with their green leaves, finely sliced
- ½ C. finely chopped Celery
- ¼ C. chopped fresh Parsley
- ½ Green Pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 6 chicken livers & 6 gizzards (or the giblets of the turkey)
- 1 Bay leaf
- ¼ tsp. Thyme
- ¼ tsp. Mace
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne
- 1 8 oz loaf stale French Bread
- Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
Boil the chicken livers and gizzard (or turkey giblets) for a half hour. Remove, cool, and chop them fine. Save and set aside the broth.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook the scallions, onion, celery, green pepper, parsley and garlic until the vegetables are soft and transparent. Add the bay leaf, thyme, mace, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Add the chopped livers and gizzards (or giblets). Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes, adding giblet broth if needed. Remove the bay leaf, and set the mixture aside.
Chop the oysters coarsely, and place them in a saucepan with their liquor. Cook until the oyster pieces are firm. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add to the vegetable mixture. Break the stale French bread into small pieces and drop them into the oyster liquor in saucepan to moisten. Add a little of the giblet broth if you need more moisture. Knead it to a paste. Mix the bread and vegetable-oyster mixture together gently. Stuff the turkey with dressing, filling the cavity only ¾ full because the stuffing will expand while the turkey is roasting. Any leftover dressing may be baked in a casserole.
Substitutions: You can substitute a package of commercial prepared seasoned stuffing in cubes (such as Pepperidge Farm’s) for the stale French bread. Or, in upstate Louisiana, they use cornbread. Where rice is grown in the southern part of the state, cooked rice is used instead of bread.
To add crunch: Toast a cup of pecan halves until golden and add them to dressing. For added zip: Rub your bird inside and out with Cointreau liqueur, and add half a copy of it to your stuffing. If you’re looking for real luxury, then you can substitute Grand Marnier for Cointreau.
A word of caution: Do not use commercial poultry seasonings that are highly flavored with sage in your oyster dressing, because the sage overwhelms the flavor of the oyster.