Virginia-style Oyster Stew

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Virginia-style Oyster Stew

¼ cup butter
about 30 oysters, freshly shucked and liquor reserved, OR 1-2 pints pre-shucked oysters, depending on size
½ cup minced celery
1/3 cup minced shallot
about 1 cup liquor from oysters OR bottled clam juice
3 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
optional: ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
optional: ¼ teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
½ cup finely chopped curly parsley for garnish
oyster crackers

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt ¼ cup butter. Cook oysters in the butter until edges just begin to curl, then remove.

Leave the butter in the pan, and add celery and shallot; sauté until soft. Add oyster liquor or clam juice, and bring back to just boiling. Add milk and heavy cream, and let mixture come back to good simmer, but not a rolling boil.

If desired, stir in Worcestershire sauce and/or hot sauce to taste, but use sparingly. Add oysters back to stew mixture, and simmer about 90 seconds. 

Serve stew in bowls (pre-heated if you wish), and top with chopped parsley garnish and oyster crackers. Be sure to evenly divide oysters among stew servings.


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