Oysters Bienville
PREP TIME: 30 minutes

Sometimes called the "Father of Louisiana," Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, was chosen to command the expedition for Louis XIV to found a colony in Louisiana. Responsible for founding the settlement of New Orleans, Jean Baptiste became an early governor of Louisiana. This succulent dish named in his honor was originally created at Antoine's by Chef Auguste Michel. However, it became known as Arnaud's dish after Arnaud Cazanave, proprietor of Arnaud's Restaurant, tasted Michel's concoction and began serving it in his restaurant.


  • 3 dozen oysters
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsps flour
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups oyster liquid
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Poach the oysters in their own liquid for one minute, just until their edges begin to curl. Strain the oysters out of the liquid and set aside. Add enough water to the poaching liquor to bring it to 2 cups. Set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add onions, celery, bell peppers, green onions and garlic. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with Chardonnay, whipping cream and the oyster liquid. Using wire whisk, blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Fold in the cheese and sprinkle in bread crumbs. Set aside to cool. Arrange the oysters in individual ovenproof dishes (6 per portion) and cover with the Bienville sauce. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sauce begins to brown on top.

Note: This dish is normally served over an oyster in the half shell and then baked.

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