Oyster Stew by Torry Shealy

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Oyster Stew


Oysters have long been a staple along the Carolina Coast. The typical cream or milk based oyster stews have been a tradition to serve on Christmas Eve in the Carolinas. This recipe, by Torry Shealy, is based on the influences of his grandmother, Louise Gieger.




2 tbsp butter

1tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1tbsp chopped parsley

¼ cup minced shallot

2 cups milk

¼ cup heavy cream

1tbsp chardonnay white wine

1 pint oysters

1/3 cup oyster liquor (What’s This?) 1/3 cup clam juice or chicken stock can be substituted

Oyster crackers



Medium sauté pan

Medium pot

Rubber spatula



Partially melt butter in the medium sauté pan.

Add oyster liquor and chardonnay

(If you don’t have enough oyster liquor for a full 1/3 cup, add clam juice or chicken stock to obtain the full 1/3 cup)

(A buttery chardonnay works best but any white wine that is NOT citrusy will work. So stay away from New Zealand sauvignon blanc)

Bring to a simmer then add shallots. Use the rubber spatula to stir ingredients.

When the shallots are tender, add oysters.

Continue to simmer until oysters start to curl on their edges.

In the Medium pot, heat the milk and cream until there is a slight simmer

Reduce heat to keep the liquid hot.

Add the salt and pepper.

Use the rubber spatula to “wipe” the thickened milk off the sides and bottom of the pot.

Then add all ingredients from the sauté pan to the medium pot using your spatula to “wipe” out all the ingredients and liquid from the sauté pan.

Bring to a low boil, while frequently “wiping” the edges and bottom of the pot with the spatula.



Ladle into bowls with even amounts of oyster.

Top with sprinkled parsley and oyster crackers

Serve immediately, preferably in warmed bowls.