Saffron colors this holiday favorite a rich yellow-gold. You won't miss it if you omit it, though; the bisque will simply look paler, like oyster stew or chowder.
2 (8-ounce) containers standard oysters, undrained
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
How to Make It
Drain the oysters in a colander over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Add enough clam juice to the oyster liquid to equal 1 cup, and set aside. Reserve the remaining clam juice for another use. Coarsely chop oysters.
Combine water and saffron in small bowl; set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in flour and coriander; cook 1 minute. Add the oyster liquid, saffron water, and milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook until thick (about 12 minutes), stirring frequently. Add the oysters, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until edges of oysters curl.