Classic Crawfish Étouffée

Classic Crawfish Étouffée
Étouffée (ay-too-fay) is a thick, spicy crawfish stew served over steamy hot white rice. Étouffée comes from the French word Étouffér or to smother. As with many Cajun dishes, Étouffée begins with a roux and includes the Trinity (onion, celery, and green bell peppers).

Serves 6

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter OR 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3/4 cups green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
3/4 cups celery, chopped
3 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock (broth)
1 pound crawfish tails (cooked and lightly seasoned with Bayou Blend or other Cajun Seasoning)
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
1/2 thinly green onions (green tops only), chopped and divided
Hot pepper sauce (optional)
Worcestershire sauce (optional)

In a large pot or cast iron skillet, melt the butter (or butter and oil combination) over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring continually, until the roux is a light peanut butter color.

Stir the yellow onion, celery, and bell pepper into the roux. Cook for several minutes, then season with sea salt, cayenne and black peppers, thyme, and a bay leaf. Stir to blend. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, Stir to blend and cook a few more minutes.

Slowly add the stock to the roux mixture, stirring to combine. Simmer for several minutes. Add the seasoned crawfish tails (or shrimp) and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes, until the liquid thickens. Add 1/4 cup of green onion, 1/4 cup parsley and the juice of 2 lemon wedges and continue cooking for another minute or so. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings.

Remove the bay leaf before serving!

Serve Étouffée in heated soup plates (or on a plate), ladled over cooked white rice. Drizzle with hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce, if desired. Garnish with remaining parsley, green onions, and a lemon wedge and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes:

For a Creole Style Étouffée, add 3/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes when you add the garlic.

For a richer flavor, use dry sherry in place of the white wine and use shrimp stock in place of the chicken broth.

Where to purchase specialty ingredients for this recipe:
Bayou Blend Cajun Seasoning from The Posh Gourmet
Gourmet and other fine specialty foods, including quality olive oils, sea salts, and seasonings directly from The Posh Gourmet

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