Note: Keep the oysters refrigerated in their juices until needed.
Combine the hot sauce and honey in a blender. Set aside. In a very small saucepan, heat the clarified butter to 140°F over medium heat, using a frying thermometer to access temperature.You may also heat the butter in a microwave oven in a small microwaveable bowl. (If you just prepared the clarified butter and it’s still over 140°, you don’t need to cool it to 140°.)
Promptly turn the blender to low speed and slowly pour the 140° butter in a thin steady stream through the hole in the blender’s lid. Pour this barbecue sauce in a large, nonreactive mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350°F, or heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350°.
Place the seasoned flour in a large mixing bowl.
Once the oil has almost reached 350°, drain any excess oyster liquor from a batch of the oysters and dredge them in the seasoned flour.
Carefully slide the oysters into the oil. (As the cold oysters come in contact with the hot oil, it may momentarily bubble up in the pan.) Fry the oysters just until golden brown and crispy, about two minutes. Remove the finished oysters from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat to dredge and fry the remaining oysters. As soon as all the oysters have been fried and drained, add small batches of them to the bowl of barbecue sauce and toss to coat well. Serve while still warm, with your favorite blue cheese dressing.
Serving Suggestions: Allow six oysters for each appetizer serving or nine to 12 as a main course. The blue cheese dressing may be passed at the table or served on the plates with the oysters. Provide oyster forks at the table if you have them.
Recipe provided by Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group.
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the managing culinary director of Serious Eats, explains the bay leaf.