How to Make Oyster Stew
Learn how to make oyster stew -- a delicate, richly flavored seasonal favorite. In his American Classics series, cooking guru Scott Peacock offers the inside scoop on perfectly seasoned traditional oyster stew.
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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 chef Scott Peacock's recipe and step-by-step cooking tips for oyster stew.
- Start to Finish:
- 25 mins
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Cook Onions and Celery in Butter
Tip 1: Gently stew the onions and celery in butter, without letting them brown, to bring out their delicate flavor and add complexity to your oyster stew.
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Thicken the Oyster Stew
Tip 2: Watch for the onion to get translucent and the celery to get tender before sprinkling flour over the mixture.
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Whisk and Cook
Tip 3: 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 oyster stew.
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Gradually Add Hot Milk
Tip 4: Slowly pour in the liquid, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.
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Briefly Cook the Oysters
Tip 5: Cook the oysters only until the gills begin to open and the edges curl. Overcooking them will make the oysters tough.
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Season Oysters with Salt and Pepper
Tip 6: Careful seasoning at every step brings out the individual flavors in this deceptively simple oyster stew.
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Transfer Oysters to Milk Mixture
Tip 7: By cooking the two parts of this oyster stew separately, you keep the distinct flavors.
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Add a Bit of Heat
Tip 8: At the end of your process, sprinkle in cayenne, stir, then cover and let rest to allow flavors to develop. Carefully taste just before serving. Adjust the seasoning, if needed.
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