Rich and creamy oyster stew — sometimes served over puff pastry shells (a preparation known as oyster patties) or cooked with artichoke hearts — is a restaurant classic and a popular Thanksgiving first course in New Orleans. This recipe is from Antoine’s, a 160-year-old French Quarter restaurant and America’s oldest family-run establishment.
- 50 medium oysters, such as bluepoints, shucked (about 1 1/2 lbs.), with 1 cup of the liquor reserved
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp. flour
- 4 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped curly parsley
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Combine oyster liquor with 1 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the oysters and simmer until their edges just begin to curl, about 2 minutes. Strain oysters through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl. Reserve oysters and cooking liquid separately. Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add celery, garlic, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until onions and celery are very soft, about 25 minutes.
- Stir in milk, cream, and reserved oysters with their cooking liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, until just hot, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.