Antoine’s Oyster Stew is an Unapologetic Classic

Antoine's Oyster Stew

Antoine’s Oyster Stew is a classic. I’ve made no deviations and I’m not going to apologize for lifting this recipe practically word for word from Saveur Magazine. I also refuse to apologize for my choice of a thick and creamy stew served in unseasonably hot weather. I realize that Midsummer’s Eve is barely behind us and many folks are sweltering. Still I’m serving stew. So sit down and slurp!

To stir the pot even more I’m going to ask all the oyster haters to just move along. There’s no room for your brand of insanity today (insert smiley face here). Antoine’s Oyster Stew is a classic. Classics know no season. Besides I love eating oysters at any occasion and at any time of year – no matter the weather. Stewed, baked, grilled, or raw.

However, it’s July and there’s no getting around the fact that in the summer my oyster obsession is often met with some form of the following question: “Aren’t you only supposed to eat oysters in months that have an R in their name?”

At face value, this appears to be an innocent question. Perhaps this question is even being asked in consideration of my health. Ahh. Isn’t that sweet?

Well, not always. I’ve learned from experience that this question is often less about concerns for my constitution and more about the perception that eating oysters is somehow odious. The passive-aggressive nature of this viewpoint can be difficult to combat. Sometimes the question comes from true blue oyster haters. In which case you can assure them oysters are just fine anytime of the year until you’re blue in the face (no not blue from eating oysters in R months). Sadly there’s no room for discussion, these steely opinions have been hardened beyond reason.

Fortunately most folks are more fair-minded and really do believe that there’s some reason to avoid oysters in warm weather months. I suppose way back when (before Whole Foods and refrigerators) oysters and warm weather could (maybe) have been problematic. But those days are long gone.

So, I’ll say it here. NO it’s not wrong to eat oysters in months without an R in their name. And YES that includes Antoine’s Oyster Stew (insert smiley face here). GREG

oysters on iceAntoine's Oyster Stew

Antoine's Oyster Stew

Antoine’s Oyster Stew 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6Source Adapted from from AntoinePublished

Antoine’s is a 176-year-old restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Antoine's Oyster Stew


  • 50 medium oysters (shucked (about 1 1⁄2 lbs.), with 1 cup of the liquor reserved)
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 stalks celery (finely chopped)
  • 4 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cup heavy cream


Combine oyster liquor and water in a medium saucepan set over over medium heat. Allow the liquid to come to a simmer then add the oysters and cook until their edges begin to curl, about 2 minutes. Strain oysters through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Reserve oysters and cooking liquid separately. 

Melt butter in a 4‑qt. saucepan set over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; add celery, garlic, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are very soft, about 20 minutes.

Stir in milk, cream, and reserved oysters with their cooking liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, until just hot, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.