Friday, November 13, 2009

Southern Cornbread and Oyster Dressing (Stuffing)

While oyster dressing may not be a traditional holiday dressing across the south, here along the Deep South of the Gulf Coast, where the oysters are salty-sweet, it absolutely is a star.
While oyster dressing may not be a traditional holiday dressing across the south, here along the Deep South of the Gulf Coast, where the oysters are salty-sweet, it absolutely is a star.

Southern Cornbread and Oyster Dressing (Stuffing)

I realize that oyster dressing is not something that is common at the holidays all over the country, and not even in The South really, but it certainly is down here in The Deep South, especially along the coastal waters.

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, my Mama almost always made two dressings - well, essentially three, really, since she also stuffed the turkey with her herb stuffing.

I do lament the passing of the stuffed turkey.

Quite frankly the stuffing in the bird was always my favorite because it was so juicy and moist from the drippings of the bird and just delicious. Ironically, that is the very reason why they say we are not supposed to eat stuffing from a bird. 

Apparently because those juices dripping in from the bird to the stuffing start off raw, and do not actually get to a high enough temperature to properly kill off any bad bacteria, the stuffing can cause illness.

Well, I ate that kind of stuffing all of my life growing up, and I'm still alive and kicking and frankly, cannot remember one single time of getting sick from eating a holiday meal.

An overly full stuffed gluttonous and very comforting and welcome feeling maybe, but never did I once get sick from eating stuffing from a turkey.  Still, I guess staying on the safe side is the right thing to do, so I only cook my dressing in a pan now. It's sad. I really need to go back and walk on the wild side.

Anyway, Mama made the herb bread stuffing in the turkey, plus a side pan of the leftover dressing, but she also made a pan of oyster dressing because my Daddy liked it. And so did I. We may have been the only ones in the family who ate it to be honest!

{Warning. Southern Style Hissy Fit commencing...} Mama made her oyster dressing with bread though, like her regular dressing, and did not use cornbread ever. She just did not like it. I know that's hard for some southerners to grasp but it's true. Not everybody wants cornbread dressing - even those who are born and raised, multi-generational southerners.

So please don't ever use that catch phrase "a real southerner wouldn't..."

I get so tired of hearing that, because for one, quite frankly it's mighty rude to say that to a born and raised southerner, and for two, nothing will set my hair on fire faster than somebody to ever say that to me, and for three, because far as I know there really isn't a written southern handbook. If there is, y'all better hurry up and send me one because I'm fairly certain I've been breaking rules for most all my life. {tucks away soapbox}


The first time away from home making my own cornbread dressing, I knew it was the perfect carrier for oysters, so that is how I made this oyster dressing. It's pretty much my basic homemade cornbread dressing with some variations, including of course, the addition of oysters. I like to rough chop the oysters up a bit and I do that with a pair of kitchen shears, but unless they are unusually large, you can keep them whole if you prefer.

Here's how to make it.

Be sure to check out my 7 Top Tips to Perfect Your Holiday Stuffing.

Looking for Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing without oysters instead? Click right here. Or if you like, we've got Southern Chicken and Cornbread Dressing too! Check that one out too right here.

Looking for more holiday recipes? Click right here.

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Posted by on November 13, 2009
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