Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 75 minutes
- 1 lb white bread (We like airy ciabatta or French loaves, but anything will work)
- 1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 5 ribs celery
- 2 tbs fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tbs fresh sage, chopped
- 1 cup shucked oysters (Often sold in 8 oz containers)
- 2 cups broth (Up to 2 cups, you may need less)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Drain the oysters to separate them from their liquor. Refrigerate and reserve both.
Cut the bread into uniform 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes, then arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Dry them out in the oven, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl when done, then raise the oven temperature to 325 F.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve about 3 tbs bacon fat in the pan.
Stirring occasionally, cook the shallots and celery over medium heat in the bacon fat until soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir in thyme and sage and let cook about 1 minute.
Combine the oyster liquor with enough broth to make 2 cups of liquid.
Add the oyster liquid, salt, and pepper to the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour into the mixing bowl with the bread crumbs. Stir in bacon, parsley, and oysters. Toss well.
Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3 or 3/12 quart baking dish.
Bake, covered, in the 325 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, and bake until browned, about 30 minutes. If it looks too dry, drizzle on melted butter or stock.
If making ahead, stop just before adding the oysters. Those can be stored separately then added in just before baking.