Bon Appétit (November 2015)
No, there's no bacon-lettuce-tomato in this oyster stuffing. (Yes, that was our first question, too.)
What there is, however, is bacon, leeks and thyme. And that combo helps create a stuffing that is exceedingly tasty.
Growing up in the South, neither of us ever saw oyster stuffing on the Thanksgiving table. Thanksgiving stuffing for us tended to be cornbread-based and flavored with sage -- and always called "dressing" and baked in a Pyrex, thank you very much.
And this was decidedly our favorite.
This recipe is actually part of a cool stuffing matrix in Bon Appétit, which includes 26 different ingredients you can mix and match to create your own twist. Bon App has some suggested combos, including this one.
What we really love about this was the density of it. It's super moist and thick. Maybe you prefer a dryer, "breadier" stuffing, but we really loved the texture of this.
We also liked the subtlety of the oysters. One of the oyster dressings we've made in the past hit you over the head with oyster flavor. This one doesn't. It's got just enough brininess to make it interesting and delicious.
Whether you grew up eating oysters at Thanksgiving or not, this is a great stuffing. (Whether a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato oyster stuffing would be any good is a completely different question. We'll leave that one up to you.)
NOTE FROM ZACH AND CLAY
This recipe calls for "12 ounces oysters, freshly shucked," but when we went to the seafood counter at the supermarket, we were encouraged to buy oysters already shucked that are sold in a little clear plastic tub -- at our supermarket they're sold at the seafood counter. They seemed to work well for this recipe.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided, plus more
1 loaf white Pullman bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups), dried out overnight
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces bacon or pancetta, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry Sherry
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 cups turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade), plus more
12 ounces oysters, freshly shucked