Oysters and turkey are a match made in umami heaven. Last year's version was a hit, so we took the opportunity to tweak it slightly for an even better side dish.
Bekah’s Willapa Oyster Stuffing
- 1 large loaf of unsweetened cornbread, cut into 1 in cubes (about 10 cups)
- ½ lb salt pork, diced
- 6 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 lb Willapa Bay shucked oysters, drained, plus 1 cup of reserved liquid
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tbsp. chopped scallions
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. mustard powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, or hot sauce of your choosing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Spread the cubed cornbread on a baking sheet and dry out in the oven at 250º F for 45 minutes to an hour, making sure that the bread is dry and not browned. (This can be done a day ahead, as long as the bread is stored in an airtight container once its cooled.)
In a skillet, render the salt pork over a medium-low heat. Once it has released some of its fat, add in the shallot and garlic and celery to soften. Once the vegetables are soft and the pork is crisp (about 10 minutes), deglaze the pan with the sherry and stir in the butter. Set aside before the butter separates.
In a bowl, combine the cooled cornbread, bacon mixture, oysters, herbs, spices, and lemon zest. Slowly fold in the oyster liquid, making sure that the cornbread is moist, not wet. (It is ok to have liquid left over.) Fold in the eggs and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
Evenly spread the mixture in a greased pan and bake at 375 ºF for 25-30 minutes, or until the mixture is dry to the touch and browned around the edges. Let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving.