Brown Oyster Stew

The Creoles of New Orleans created a butter and cream-based oyster soup that was so rich it was referred to as oyster stew. The Cajuns, looking to adapt the dish to their bayou style incorporated the dark brown roux and oyster liquid in place of the butter and cream. Personally, I prefer the bayou version.


  • 3 pints oysters, reserve liquid
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 quarts oyster liquid or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • dash of hot sauce

Ask your seafood supplier to reserve one and a half quarts of fresh shucked oyster liquid for this recipe. If oyster liquid is not available, simply substitute either clam juice or chicken stock. In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven, heat liquid over medium-high heat. Add flour and, using a wire whisk, stir constantly until dark brown roux is achieved. Do not scorch. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add one pint of oysters and oyster liquid from 2 containers. Add the oyster or chicken stock, a little at a time, to achieve a stew-like consistency. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 25-30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add green onions and parsley. Add remaining 2 pints of oysters and adjust seasonings if necessary. Cook 5 additional minutes and serve over rice or puff pastry shells.

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