8 dozen (96) shucked fresh oysters
3 slices raw bacon
½ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped green sweet pepper
¼ cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 quart chicken stock
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 ½ cups seasoned bread crumbs, divided Chicken stock or water for additional moisture
Strain the oysters over a bowl to remove grit and separate them from the liquor. Coarsely chop the oysters.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Place the oysters and their liquor in a medium-size roasting pan. Set aside.
Fry the bacon slices to a crisp, drain them well on paper towels, and crumble them in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion, sweet pepper and celery until they are soft and begin to brown. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano and stir well. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the liquid lo a simmer.
Once the seasoned stock has reached a simmer, pour it with the seasonings into the roasting pan containing the oysters and mix everything well. Mix ¾ cup of the bread crumbs with the crumbled bacon and combine them thoroughly with the oysters and stock in the roasting pan. Make sure the mixture is still moist by compressing it into a loose ball. If it seems too dry, add a bit more chicken stock or water. Spread the cheese and remaining ¾ cup of bread crumbs evenly over the dressing. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Yields 3 quarts.
©Kit Wohl The P&J Oyster Cookbook by permission of Pelican Publishing Co.