Selecting your oysters for flavor and shucking them yourself really does make a difference in this cold weather dish. The fresh flavor comes through. It is important not to boil oyster stew — if you let it boil, the liquid from the oysters (called liquor) will coagulate and ruin the silky consistency of the stew. When the oysters reach the right temperature to just ruffle at the edges, a light steam will be visible, but the stew will not be boiling.
- Lightly Salted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Celery - 1/4 cup, finely minced
- Yellow Onion - 1/4 cup, finely minced
- Chives - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Half-and-half - 4 cups
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Oysters in the shell - 3 dozen, shucked, or 1-1/2 pints shucked oysters drained of their liquor
Melt the butter in a heavy pot over low heat. Add the celery, onions, and chives and saute, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the half-and-half, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and oysters and stir to incorporate. Heat just until the oysters ruffle at the edges; do not boil. Remove the pot from the heat and serve immediately in warmed soup bowls.