Updated: Mar 4, 2021
It's crawfish season! Early on in the season I boiled 32 pounds of crawfish and invited all of my friends over for a cajun feast. Even though we had a backyard full of college students I ended up with a few pounds of leftovers, so I dealt with them the only way I knew how to- crawfish étouffée.
Next time you boil some crawfish remember to try and save a few and make this étouffée, I promise you won't regret it! Consider saving the heads and shells as well so that you can use them to make a killer stock, instead of chicken or shrimp stock. It takes this dish to a whole new level.
1 stick butter
2 large onions, diced
2 stick celery, chopped small
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 bunch green onions, sliced (reserve some for garnish)
1/2 - 1 bell pepper, diced
5 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups shrimp or chicken stock, or water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (only if using water instead of stock)
1 lb louisiana crawfish tails and fat (do not use chinese)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
·salt & black pepper to taste
·tobasco or la hot sauce (optional)
Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet. Don't use cast iron. Saute chopped vegetables for 30 minutes on low heat, but don't brown.
Add flour to vegetables to make a paste; saute 5 minutes, but don't brown.
If you have shrimp or chicken stock use it, or you can make your own chicken broth by dissolving bouillon cubes in water. If all else fails use water and add to vegetable mixture, whisking to prevent lumps. Simmer on medium low for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for flavor and add seasonings as needed. No matter how you like it; mild, medium or hot, just remember that you can always ADD more heat, but you can't take it out. The longer you simmer, the better it will get. If it begins to thicken add more stock/broth/water.
When ready to serve add crawfish tails to sauce and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add parsley, heat through and serve over white rice, garnish with sliced green onions if desired, and Leidenheimer's French bread.