Ruth Fertel's Plaquemines Parish Oyster Dressing

Stirrin' It Up: Ruth Fertel's Plaquemines Parish Oyster Dressing (Nov. 18)

Prep Time: 1½ Hours

Yields: 10–12 Servings


Oyster dressing is a classic dish that is served on virtually every Thanksgiving table in Plaquemines Parish. This magnificent recipe is from the famous founder of Ruth's Chris Steak House, Ruth Fertel.


½ gallon oysters with liquid

1 pound (71–90 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 cups reserved oyster liquid

4 tbsps butter

½ pound smoked sausage, minced

½ pound hot pork sausage, minced

1½ cups diced onions

1 cup diced celery

½ cup diced green bell peppers

½ cup diced red bell peppers

2 tbsps minced garlic

6 chicken bouillon cubes

salt and black pepper to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

1½ (2-foot) loaves stale French bread

6 eggs, beaten

½ pound melted butter


Pour oysters into a large pan, reserving liquid. Examine them carefully, removing any partial shells. Add reserved oyster liquid to pan, and heat oysters until edges curl. Remove oysters and set aside to cool. Add shrimp to oyster liquid and cook 2-3 minutes or until pink and curled. Remove shrimp and set aside to cool. Drain, reserve 3 cups liquid and set aside. When oysters and shrimp are cool to touch, chop coarsely and set aside. In a large Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Sauté sausage until fat is rendered. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Stir in chopped oysters, oyster liquid and bouillon cubes. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers. Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop bread into 1-inch cubes. Stir bread into oyster mixture, 2 cups at a time, until enough bread has been added to absorb liquid but mixture is still moist. Remove from heat and blend in eggs and remaining melted butter. Pour into a large baking pan, cover with foil and bake 1 hour. Remove foil and brown 15 minutes.