Craig Claiborne’s Oyster and Rice Dressing

Serving of Craig Claiborne's oyster and rice dressing recipe from the New York Times (1987).
Serving of Craig Claiborne’s oyster and rice dressing recipe from the New York Times (1987).

Oyster and rice dressing? I grew up with cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas (and sometimes Easter). Occasionally we would have dinner with someone who made a dressing with French or Italian bread, but I had never tried rice dressing. After hearing Oyster Obsession members from the Gulf Coast rave about oyster and rice dressing, I decided my first would be a classic, Craig Claiborne’s Oyster and Rice Dressing recipe from the November 1987 New York Times. It didn’t fail to please.

The texture of the dressing was a pleasant surprise, much more like a rice casserole than traditional dressings or stuffings. And the taste? If you want oyster flavor, this is the recipe for you. Often, cornbread, sage and sausage will smother out the flavor of oysters in a dressing. Not so with this one. It is all about the oysters with fresh parsley and just a touch of thyme and oregano.

Chopping peppers and celery.
Chopping peppers and celery.

 

Cooking onions, peppers, and celery for dressing.
Cooking onions, peppers, and celery for dressing.

 

Deep skillet filled with oyster, rice and trinity mixture, ready for breadcrumb topping.
Deep skillet filled with oyster, rice and trinity mixture, ready for breadcrumb topping.

 

Dressing hot from the oven.
Dressing hot from the oven.

 

Deep skillet of oyster and rice dressing.
This deep skillet recipe makes 10 – 12 servings.

Find the full recipe here.

Recipes Notes:

The original does not tell when to add the rice (Yikes). Add the rice to the dressing mixture at the end of Step 4.

I used butter in the place of margarine.

Also, the recipe required more than 40 minutes of baking. The actual time was closer to 60 minutes, but I was using a deep cast iron skillet. It would probably cook much faster in a more shallow casserole dish. It would also make more crusty edges (which I love).


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