Grandpa's Oyster Stew


Born and raised on the water, oystering is in chef Madden Surbaugh's blood. Every year at Christmas his grandfather made his famous oyster stew, a creamy bisque perfect for any occasion.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 shallots, minced

  • ½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine

  • 24 freshly shucked oysters, oyster liquor reserved

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • sea salt to taste

  • 1 pinch sweet paprika

  • 1 cup oyster crackers


  1. Stir butter and garlic in a stockpot over medium heat until butter begins to brown. Remove garlic and discard.

  2. Stir shallots into browned butter. Cook and stir until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Pour sherry over shallots in the stockpot and bring to a boil while scraping any browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Pour reserved oyster liquor, milk, and cream into the stockpot; bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in oysters; cook until oyster edges begin to ruffle, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir in parsley; season with sea salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sweet paprika and oyster crackers.

Cook's Note:

If using canned oysters, drain the oysters over a bowl to collect the liquid. Use this liquid in place of oyster liquor.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

806 Calories
52g Fat
46g Carbs
36g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 806
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 52g 66%
Saturated Fat 28g 140%
Cholesterol 295mg 98%
Sodium 1148mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 30mg 149%
Calcium 218mg 17%
Iron 18mg 99%
Potassium 831mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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