How to Make Oyster Stew

In his American Classics series, cooking guru Scott Peacock offers the inside scoop on making perfectly seasoned, traditional oyster stew.


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Classic Oyster Stew
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American Classics: Oyster Stew

    The ideal oyster stew has a slightly thick broth and complex flavors from plump, tender oysters and simple seasonings. It's also well-suited for entertaining, as an appetizer with biscuits, a first course, or a light entree.

    See the following slides for chef Scott Peacock's recipe and step-by-step instructions for bringing out the best in this traditional, delicately rich seasonal favorite.

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Cook Onions and Celery in Butter

    "Gently stewing the onions and celery in butter, without letting them brown, brings out their delicate flavor and adds complexity to the final dish," says Scott.

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Lightly Thicken

    "When the onion is translucent and the celery is tender, sprinkle over the flour," says Scott.

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Whisk and Cook

    "Keep the ingredients moving over the heat, whisking to blend in the flour and to prevent the mixture from browning, which would alter the flavor of the finished dish," says Scott.

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Gradually Add Hot Milk

    "Slowly pour in the liquid, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming," says Scott.

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Season Oysters with Salt and Pepper

    "Careful seasoning at every step brings out the individual flavors in this deceptively simple stew," says Scott.

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Cook Briefly

    "Cook the oysters only until the gills begin to open and the edges curl," says Scott. "Overcooking them will make them tough."

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Stir in Oysters

    "The distinct flavors shine through when ingredients are cooked separately before combining," says Scott.

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A Tickle of Heat

    "Once the oyster liquor is added, sprinkle in the cayenne, stir, then cover and let rest to allow flavors to develop," says Scott. "Carefully taste just before serving. Adjust the seasoning, if needed."

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