Granny’s oyster dressing! My Thanksgiving memories would not be the same without it. She did not always make her dressing with oysters, true, but on occasion she would surprise my family with this briny addition to the dish.
Seriously, I don’t think any dressing on earth compared to my Granny’s. I love the fact that during her later years, she would come to my home for Thanksgiving and watch me cook the dressing. She would taste it as I prepared it and correct my seasonings and make little changes here and there. This was a tremendous help. Not just everyone could get away with that, but throughout her life she let me get away with many, many things. So about cooking, I always listened, and I am certainly thankful that I did.
To this day, I can hear her telling me how to add a piece of white bread to the dressing give it the right consistency or to add more chicken broth. Isn’t it amazing what a difference one little change to a recipe makes?
What Is the Difference Between Dressing and Stuffing?
In the South, dressing is a must for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Many people say that dressing and stuffing are the same thing, but not to me.
Dressing seems a bit thicker than stuffing (perfect with giblet gravy) and it does not have the “crunch” that stuffing usually seems to have. Stuffing also tends to taste sweeter than dressing, in my experience.
In fact, there are as many variations to dressings as there are to Bolognese in Italy. But the base of this dressing, whether you use oysters or not, remains my family’s favorite.
When and How to Serve Oyster Dressing
Not only is this dish a favorite for the holidays, but for Sunday dinner special occasions as well. Sometimes I like to keep leftover turkey in a freezer zip-top bag and mix it into the dressing mixture in place of the oysters. The turkey gives it a very nice texture and flavor.
- 6 cups cornbread crumbled
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 cups oysters shucked and roughly chopped
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 4 pieces white bread cubed
- 1 Tablespoon poultry or Creole seasoning
- 1 can mushroom soup
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray or grease a 9 X 11 casserole.
- Prepare cornbread and crumble in a large bowl.
- Melt butter in a skillet and sauté onions, celery. and oysters until vegetables are translucent and oysters are cooked through, about 8 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk eggs.
- Add eggs, onions, celery, oysters, broth, white bread, poultry or Creole seasoning, mushroom soup, salt and pepper to the cornbread. Mix thoroughly and spoon into prepared casserole. Place in pre-heated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden.