Apalachicola Oyster Stew
Source of Recipe
"The Southerner's Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories"
"To trace the trajectory of oyster stew in the South, pick your possible thread — Irish immigrants to the Chesapeake and the hills beyond reproducing a creamy dried-fish stew of their European homeland with abundant North American ingredients, or German immigrants bringing their dairy-based traditions to Louisiana's Creole country. This version meets roughly in the geographic middle, taking inspiration from Florida's Panhandle region, where the rich stew is made with plump Apalachicola Bay oysters, although you can use any variety of quality fresh oysters you like. Add them just before serving to gently heat through. Concentrated oyster liquor and clam juice lend an extra element of brine, while Conecuh sausage from the just-inland town of Evergreen, Alabama, delivers smoke and spice."
List of Ingredients
◦ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
◦ 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
◦ 2 ounces smoked sausage, such as Alabama-made Conecuh, diced (about ¼ cup)
◦ ½ cup diced leeks, white and light green parts only
◦ 1 carrot, peeled and diced
◦ ½ celery stalk, diced
◦ ½ cup finely diced new potatoes (2 or 3 potatoes)
◦ 1 fresh thyme sprig
◦ ½ teaspoon kosher salt
◦ ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
◦ 2 pints freshly shucked oysters with liquor
◦ ¼ to ⅓ cup dry white wine
◦ 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
◦ 2 cups half-and-half
◦ ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
◦ ½ teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving
◦ Chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish
Melt the butter in the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the leeks, carrot, celery, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
Drain the oysters in a fine-mesh sieve set over a glass measuring cup to collect their liquor. Add an equal amount of wine to oyster liquor. Pour the liquor mixture into a small saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Transfer the reduction to the pan with the vegetables.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the clam juice, half-and-half, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to the pan. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, watching the pan carefully to make sure the liquid doesn't boil, which would cause the half-and-half to break. Slip the oysters into the liquid and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until barely warmed through. Remove thyme stem. Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with parsley and hot sauce.
Serves 4 as an entrée or 6 as an appetizer