Oyster Dressing

Oyster Dressing
½ loaf day-old French bread, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 8 cups)
2 (10 oz.) containers fresh oysters
1 (3 oz.) pkg. shallots
1 bunch green onions
1 medium green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 egg beaten
4 tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)
1 ½ tsp. poultry season (use only 1 tsp. poultry seasoning if adding tarragon)
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves (optional)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 9x13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside. Spread bread cubes over large baking sheet. Toast 40 minutes. Remove bread and raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. Once bread cubes are cool, place in large resealable bag and seal tightly. Roll rolling pin over bag to crush into breadcrumbs and set aside.

Drain oysters and reserve oyster liquor (Juice from oysters). Peel shallots and chop finely. Chop green onions, bell pepper, celery and parsley. Beat eggs and set aside. Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots, green onions, bell pepper and celery 5 minutes. Add poultry seasoning and tarragon, if desired; sauté 1 minute. Push vegetables to perimeter of pan and add oysters; sauté 1 minute and remove from heat.

Toss breadcrumbs with skillet mixture, parsley, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add 2 to 6 tablespoons of reserved oyster liquor, according to whether you prefer a drier or moister dressing.

Spread dressing in baking dish and bake 35 to 40 minutes until lightly brown and crusty on top. Serve hot.