Oyster Dressing

An ode to Oysters Rockefeller, the Pernod can be subbed in this dressing for 1 teaspoon of ground fennel seed, lending that touch of anise flavor without the alcohol.

Oyster Dressing
 
Yields: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers shucked oysters, drained and liquor reserved
  • 8 cups (1-inch) cubed cornbread
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1¼ cups chopped fennel
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • ½ cup squeezed thawed frozen chopped spinach
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons Pernod (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 2.5- to 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Quarter any large oysters; set aside.
  2. Place cornbread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and toasted, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and let drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in pot. Add fennel, onion, and garlic. Cook until vegetables have softened, 5 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in spinach, parsley, Pernod (if using), salt, Worcestershire, and red pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, and ½ cup reserved oyster liquor. (If oyster liquor doesn’t equal ½ cup, add more cream). Add ½ cup Parmesan, oysters, cornbread, bacon, and fennel mixture. Gently stir until combined and liquid is mostly absorbed.
  5. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Bake, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Top with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan; bake, uncovered, until bread is lightly browned, cheese is melted, and mixture is firm to the touch, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

 

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