Oysters have been part of our Holiday custom for centuries. Oysters were plentiful on our shores and have been used in stuffing since the Puritan era. Did you know that oyster dressing was originally stuffed between the skin and meat of the turkey? For the first hundred or so years of New England colonization, it was a rampant debate of which is better tasting, loosening the skin around a fowl to stuff or simply pack it into the cavity of a dressed bird.
Regardless, oyster stew is a New England classic. In this recipe, our chef has taken this perpetual meal-in-itself and added even more Yankee ingredients and to give you a satisfying recipe that ties the past to the present.
- 1 pound large chestnuts in shells (you can also buy jarred chestnuts that are pre-peeled and cooked)
- 1 slice bacon, diced
- 1/2 small onion, peeled and minced
- 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced, white potato
- 1 cup diced, sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 pint(about 16 ounces) raw oysters, drained
- 3 ounces small shrimp, drained
- 1 cup light cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Place chestnuts in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for 30 minutes.
- 2 Remove from water and carefully slit the bottom of each with an 'x' on the rounded bottom of each chestnut. Place on a large, microwave safe dish and cover with a wet paper towel.
- 3 Heat, on high, for 2 minutes.
- 4 Remove to let cool to room temperature before peeling and chopping.
- 5 Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add the bacon and cook over medium heat until almost crispy.
- 6 Add the chopped chestnuts, onion and celery and continue cooking with the bacon until celery is crisp tender, about another 3-4 minutes.
- 7 Add the potatoes, chives and vegetable broth.
- 8 Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender without falling apart, about 6-7 minutes.
- 9 Add the oysters and shrimp, cooking another 4-5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters start to curl.
- 10 Add the cream, salt, pepper and thyme.
- 11 Stir and serve immediately.