Because they were so abundant, oysters were used as a filler and for flavor in a variety of Colonial New England dishes. They are still the star of traditional stuffings in the region.
Makes 12 servings.
- 1pound sliced firm white sandwich bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
- 8tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3large celery stalks with leaves, chopped
- 3medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1/3cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1teaspoon dried thyme
- 1teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves28-ounce jars shucked oysters, drained, 1/2 cup juices reserved, oysters cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1cup turkey stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 325°F. Place bread on baking sheet. Bake until beginning to dry, about 12 minutes. Cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover bread and store at room temperature.)
Butter 11x7x2-inch baking dish. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until mushroom liquid evaporates and mushrooms are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. In same pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add leeks; cook until vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Add sautéed vegetables, parsley and dried herbs to mushrooms; toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Add bread cubes and oysters to vegetables in bowl; stir to combine. Mix in reserved 1/2 cup oyster juices and Turkey Stock. Season with salt and pepper. Use 9 cups stuffing for turkey. Transfer remaining stuffing to prepared baking dish; cover with foil and chill until ready to bake. Bake stuffing, covered, at 325°F, until heated through, about 45 minutes.