20 shucked oysters, plus their liquor
3 cups coarsely crumbled stale baguette
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup crisp crumbled bacon
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, cut in small dice
2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. dry white vermouth
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Put the oysters in a strainer over a medium bowl to catch their liquor. Reserve 3/4 cup of the oyster liquor. Combine the crumbled bread and oysters in a large bowl.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, shallots, celery, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add pepper to taste. Add the parsley, thyme, reserved oyster liquor, and vermouth and bring to a boil. Transfer the mixture to the bread and oysters and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a buttered six- by six-inch baking dish, bake for about one hour, or until browned. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Hamby Catering, 925 St. Andrews Blvd., West Ashley; hambycatering.com