Maryland watermen have been harvesting oysters from the Chesapeake Bay for over a century. Local cooks add oysters to everything from savory pies and stews to this dressing-a holiday staple around the Bay.
12 tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. crumbled dried sage
1⁄2 tsp. dried tarragon
6 cups crumbled corn bread
1 cup chicken stock
2 eggs lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 dozen small shucked oysters
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 6 tbsp. of the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add onions, celery, parsley, sage and tarragon. Sauté the mixture until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
Put corn bread in a large mixing bowl. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; add remaining butter, stirring until butter has melted, then pour over corn bread. Mix in sautéed onion-and-celery mixture, eggs, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Gently mix oysters into the corn bread mixture, taking care not to break up oysters. Transfer to a buttered 8" × 8" baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with roast turkey.