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Cornbread-Oyster Stuffing with Thyme and Fennel by John Ash
"This is my version of a recipe from my grandmother. It’s great with roast turkey, of course, but you could also use it in roulades of sole or to stuff a whole roasted or grilled fish."
We are so excited to share this recipe for a stuffing made with cornbread and oysters, spiced with thyme and fennel, from chef John Ash, excerpted from The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood: Culinary Treasures from Our Waters.
Also from The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood:
John writes in The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood1:
This is my version of a recipe from my grandmother. It’s great with roast turkey, of course, but you could also use it in roulades of sole or to stuff a whole roasted or grilled fish. If you don’t have giblets, double the mushrooms.
This recipe makes about 8 cups (300g), which should serve 4 to 6.
Giblets from turkey or chicken (optional)
2 cups (480 ml) chicken stock, turkey stock, or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
1 small leek, chopped, both white and green parts (2 cups/180 g)
3 ounces (85 g) cremini mushrooms, chopped (1 cup)
About 6 cups (225 g) cubed day-old cornbread
2 cups (524 g) small shucked or jarred raw oysters, liquor reserved
¼ cup (13 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup (120 g) chopped walnuts, toasted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon crushed fennel seed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and butter a 2-quart (2-l) baking dish. If using the giblets, bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan, add the giblets, and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove the giblets and chop finely, reserving the stock.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook until soft and slightly brown. In a large bowl, combine the reserved stock, vegetables, cornbread, oysters, parsley, walnuts, eggs, thyme, fennel seed, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg and mix well to make a mixture that is moist but not soggy. When squeezed gently, the mixture should just hold together. If necessary, add some of the reserved oyster liquor.
Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and bake until heated through and browned and crispy on top, about 45 minutes.
Find more recipes like this one in The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood. You can purchase a copy via these links:
Excerpted with permission from The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood: Culinary Treasures from Our Waters by John Ash. Published by Abrams in 2023. Photography by Ashley Lima.