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New Orleans Oyster Dressing

Traditional South Louisiana Dressing made with oysters, sausage and giblets mixed with distinct herbs and bread.   
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cajun, Creole
Keyword: oyster dressing, oyster stuffing
Servings: 24 Servings
Calories: 290kcal

Here's What You Need

For the giblets/stock

  • 1 pack Turkey Giblets and neck
  • 1 chicken thigh bone in-skin on
  • 1 large yellow onion quartered
  • 3 stalks celery cut in 3 " pieces
  • 1 head garlic sliced in half
  • 4 green onions folded and tied with butcher string

For the giblets/stock-bouquet garni

  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley

For the giblets/stock-garni bag

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns

For the dressing

  • 2 pounds Pork Sausage
  • 2 sticks butter Divided, plus about 2 tablespoons for the baking dishes
  • 6 medium Yellow onions
  • 7 bunches Green onions
  • 5 stalks Celery
  • 6-7 cloves garlic Divided
  • ½ cup Fresh Parsley Chopped, Divided
  • 3 cups turkey stock See Notes
  • 4 cups bread for stuffing See Notes
  • 1 pints fresh oysters Use up to a Quart

Herbs and Spice Blend

  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dry Oregano
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh sage chopped
  • 4 Bay Leaves

Here's What You Do

Prepare the giblets and stock

  • Place a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon ov vegetable. When hot, place the yellow onions and garlic head cut side down in the stockpot and brown for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the celery, giblets, neck, chicken thigh, bouquet garni, and Garni bag into the stockpot. Add about 8 cups of cold water.
  • Bring the stockpot to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer. After 15 minutes, skim off the impurities that bubble to the top. Maintain a low simmer for approximatley 1 ½ hours.
  • Remove giblets, neck, and chicken thigh from the stockpot and place them in a bowl to cool. Strain the liquid and reserve. If this does not yield 4 cups of stock, add some commercial chicken or turkey stock. Discard the cooked vegetables.
  • To prepare the giblets, remove the chicken thigh meat and discard the bones and skin. Pull the meat off the turkey neck. Place the poultry meat and giblets in a small food grinder or processor. Add about 2 tablespoons of stock and grind until smooth. Set aside. This should yield about 1 cup.

For the dressing

  • Chop all the onions, celery, parsley and sage. Measure all other ingredients.
  • Reserve about 1 tablespoon each of the chopped garlic and parsley for the oysters.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and brown the pork sausage (about 5 minutes). Remove the sausage from pan; leave at least 2 tablespoons of drippings in the pan.
  • Continuing over medium-high heat, melt about 1 ½ sticks of butter in the same pan, scraping the sausage bits off the bottom.
  • When the butter starts to foam, add the onions and celery and mix well. Fry until the onions are clear and starting to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often so it doesn’t stick and burn.
  • When the onions and celery have cooked down, mix in the garlic and about half of the Herb and Spice Blend. Stir until the garlic is aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  • Add back the sausage with the bay leaves and at least ½ to ⅔ of the chopped sage. Mix to combine and allow this to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Next, mix in the giblets, parsley, remaining sage and most of the remaining Herb and Spice Blend. Combine completely and cook another 10 minutes, stirring often while the flavors meld together.
  • At this point, add about 2 ½ cups of the stock (reserving the rest); bring this to a heavy simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the bread; mix well; leave on the heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Cover, remove from the heat and let this sit while you prepare the oysters.

Now for the ersters:

  • Strain the oysters into a bowl; reserve the oyster juice.
  • Chop about ⅓ of the oysters.
  • In a large saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter until foamy; throw in the garlic until its aromatic then add the oysters (chopped and whole). See Notes
  • Add the parsley and sauté until the oysters are curling up, this will take between 5 and 10 minutes and generate a lot of nice buttery oyster liquid.
  • Add the oysters to the dressing using a slotted spoon letting the liquid drain through the spoon. Mix well to combine the ingredients. Add about ½ cup of the oyster/butter juice but be careful not to add too much juice-See Recipe Notes. The dressing should be supple and cohesive at this point, but not too wet. If more liquid is needed, add more oyster/butter juice and/or some of the reserved stock.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
  • Prepare two 9" X 13" baking dishes (or similar) by spreading softened butter inside. Spoon the dressing into the pans and smooth the top.
  • Place the baking dishes in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes until it is bubbly on the edges.


This recipe makes 24 @ ½ cup servings
If you don't want to make the stock, simply cover the giblets with about 6 to 8 cups of commercial turkey or chicken stock and simmer for an hour. Reserve the giblets for processing and the stock for use in this recipe. 
You can use stale french bread cut into small cubes, or a commercial prodcut like Pedderidge Farm Seasoned Stuffing Mix. Also, 2 boxes of Stovetop Stuffing Mix provides the exact quanitity of bread needed and is a perfect substitute. 
Don't add much salt until after the stock and the oysters. Both Oysters and commercial stock can add salt, so taste the dressing for seasonings AFTER you add the oysters and then add the amount of salt you want. 
This dressing can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator before it’s baked. Follow the recipe through the last step of putting it in the baking dish, then let the dressing come to room temperature. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you are ready, remove it from the fridge, let it get to room temperature and bake it as directed. You can also freeze it in the same manner. Room temperature, wrap it airtight and freeze it for up to 30 days. I have used a vacuum sealer on the entire full baking dish and placed it in the freezer. Defrost it in the fridge overnight, then bake it as directed. 
Leftovers can be refrigerated (airtight) for 3 or 4 days or frozen for about 30 days. Don’t refreeze leftovers after they have been frozen once. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. It’s easy to reheat small portions in the microwave or larger amounts in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of about 165 degrees.  


Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 627mg | Potassium: 308mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 689IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe came from www.firstyouhaveabeer.com.