November 5, 2011 by Stacy McDonald
(Secret Family Recipe)
Growing up, my grandfather was the “oyster dressing maker” in our family. I still remember the old-fashioned double stove and all the dreamy scents that would come out of it at Thanksgiving! Even when I was a kid, and as much as I hated oysters, I loved Papa’s Oyster Dressing.
When you make this recipe, purpose to make memories. First, don’t forget that it will be better if it “meshes” in the oven for at least an hour…maybe more. And be sure to open the oven to “taste test” often – be as dramatic as possible. My papa always made a grand affair of “his” oyster dressing “taste tests.” We all gathered to watch his expressions and were all drooling by the time we took our first bite!
For those who “think” they don’t like oysters, please note, this dish has been a hit with even the most ardent “oyster haters.” You have to try it to believe it! Enjoy!
4 lb. Ground breakfast sausage browned and drained (Whole Foods makes a good blend)
Fresh chopped garlic
1/4 C. oil (I use extra virgin “light” olive oil)
3 chopped onions
2 C. chopped celery
2 diced bell peppers
Dark Roux (made with flour and sausage drippings – I’m working on a gluten free version)
2 C. Homemade turkey stock (important!)
Tony Cachere’s Cajun seasoning (to taste)
Cayenne and salt (if you don’t use Tony Cachere’s)
Powdered garlic (to taste)
2 C. chopped green onion
4 C. uncooked basmati rice
2-3 pints of fresh oysters with the liquor (chopped)
Cook rice, fluff, and let cool. Brown sausage and drain into pan for roux. Prepare roux using sausage drippings until dark brown. Sauté white onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper in the finished roux. Add green onion and sauté about 3 minutes. Whisk in turkey stock, chopped giblets, and seasonings. When thickened to a thin gravy consistency add fresh oysters (might want to cut up if they’re large). Slowly add cooked sausage and cooked basmati rice and mix well. Give mixture time for seasonings to soak into the rice. As it thickens, add oyster liquor (broth). Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve, adding more turkey broth if needed.