How to Make Oyster Stew

Classic 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.

Making 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 chef Scott Peacock's recipe and step-by-step cooking tips for oyster stew.

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.

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.

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.

Gradually Add Hot Milk

Tip 4: Slowly pour in the liquid, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.

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.

Season Oysters with Salt and Pepper

Tip 6: Careful seasoning at every step brings out the individual flavors in this deceptively simple oyster stew.

Transfer Oysters to Milk Mixture

Tip 7: By cooking the two parts of this oyster stew separately, you keep the distinct flavors.

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.

Oyster Stew Recipe

You'll need just 25 minutes for this delicious oyster stew recipe. Get all the ingredients and steps here.

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