Jim Smith’s Oyster and Sausage Dressing

A skillet of Jim Smith's Oyster and Sausage Dressing.
A piping hot skillet of Jim Smith’s Oyster and Sausage Dressing.

Your Oyster Recipe of the Day: Jim Smith’s Oyster and Sausage Dressing. You need to know three things about this cornbread dressing recipe: oysters, Conecuh sausage, duck fat. It’s one of the best dressings I’ve ever eaten (and I ❤️ dressings and stuffings). My mouth waters every time I think about it.

Ingredients for Jim Smith's Oyster and Sausage Dressing.
Ingredients for Jim Smith’s Oyster and Sausage Dressing.

Oyster and Sausage Dressing (Serves 6 – 8)

For the Cornbread

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • ¼ Cup Melted Butter – Room Temperature
  • 3½ Cups Fresh Corn Meal – Sifted
  • ½ Cup AP Flour – Sifted
  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt

Preheat oven to 450° F and place two 9 inch cast iron skillets in the oven.  Preheating the skillets helps the bread cook evenly, develops a crust, and makes removal of the bread easier.  In a mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs with a whisk and then add the buttermilk, milk, and butter.  Set the wet ingredients aside.  In a large mixing bowl whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly mixed.  Using a rubber spatula slowly pour and mix the wet ingredients into the dry and combine.  Carefully remove the preheated cast iron skillets from the oven and coat heavily with pan spray.  Equally divide the batter between the two pans and quickly return to the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done and let cool.

Oyster Dressing Ingredients

  • 8 Cups Crumbled Cornbread – The cornbread recipe above yields 12 cups
  • ½ Lbs. (2 Cups) Conecuh Sausage – Diced
  • Cajun Mirepoix – Fine Diced (1 Medium Onion, 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, and 2 Ribs of Celery)
  • 2 Eggs – Lightly Beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Duck Fat – Melted (Substitute Bacon, Butter, or Shortening, if preferred.)
  • 2¼ Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme – Picked, Stems Removed
  • 2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley – Chopped
  • 24 Shelled Alabama Oysters with Reserved Liquor
  • ¼ Cup Reserved Oyster Liquor
  • Salt To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste


Preheat oven to 375° F.  Lightly coat a medium sauté pan with vegetable oil and render the sausage under high heat until it has browned.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the Cajun mirepoix to the pan and sauté until the vegetables are translucent. Be careful not to brown the mirepoix.  Remove the mixture from the pan and let cool.  In a large mixing bowl place the cornbread crumbs, the cooled sausage mixture, and the fat.  Mix the ingredients and then add the eggs, stock, thyme, and parsley while gently mixing.  Finally add the oysters and oyster liquor and mix making sure to leave the whole oysters intact.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Using pan spray, heavily coat a 12 inch cast iron skillet and evenly pour the oyster dressing batter into the skillet, level with a rubber spatula, and bake for 45 minutes or until done.

About Jim Smith

Chef Jim Smith

Chef Jim Smith knows his oysters! In 2011 he was crowned the King of American Seafood by winning The Great American Seafood-Cook-Off and became the national spokesperson for Alabama Seafood, American Sustainable Seafood, Gulf Seafood and the NOAA.  As the winner he traveled the country educating the Americans about the benefits of sustainable seafood.  As Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, Chef Smith is proud to be a part of the great work being done to promote Alabama Seafood.

Jim is Executive Chef of the State of Alabama and competed on Top Chef Season 14 on Bravo.


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