Crawfish Etouffée

New Orleans Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish Etouffée

Got a craving for crawfish?  My husband does. And this time of year when live crawfish are not running (out of season) one of the only ways to satisfy his craving is with frozen Louisiana crawfish tails.  In New Orleans, frozen crawfish tails are a heavily relied upon convenience food.  Many folks outside of Louisiana are unaware of this great product, but it’s available in the frozen seafood department of most supermarkets across the country.

Now as much as I love the usefulness of frozen crawfish tails, their taste and texture take a small but noticeable hit during the freezing process.  I find them unappealing to eat on their own or in simply prepared recipes like salads and light pastas.  They are perfect, however, in dishes that are smothered, sauced or stuffed.  My Crawfish Etouffée, for instance, is a great dish for frozen crawfish tails.  My rendition stays true to its roots with a homemade roux and seafood stock–two recurring and very important themes in South Louisiana cooking.

Print Crawfish Etouffee Recipe

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Crawfish Etouffée Recipe

Seasoning Mix
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups seafood stock
1 stick butter
2 pounds frozen Louisiana crawfish tails, thawed and drained (but not rinsed)
Baked Rice, for serving

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix; set aside. In a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, make a roux by heating the oil over high heat. Gradually add the flour, whisking carefully and vigorously after each addition until smooth. Continue whisking until the roux is the color of peanut butter. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper and green onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. In a large separate saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the stock to a boil. Gradually add the roux mixture to the boiling stock, whisking after each addition until dissolved. Return to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; cook 30 minutes, stirring frequently. During the last few minutes of cooking time, place the butter and crawfish tails in a microwave-safe dish. Cover loosely and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Stir to combine. Gently fold warm crawfish mixture into stock mixture. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately over Baked Rice with lots of French bread and hot sauce options. Makes 6-8 servings.


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10 Responses
  1. I featured this recipe on my blog this past week as a Best of the Best for Mardi Gras. I’ve never made a roux before, and the recipe was very easy to follow and it turned out amazing! I threw in some semi-homemade with a box of Zatarain’s Gumbo rice (don’t cringe – I’m from Pennsylvania!) and it was out of this world. Hugs, Holly

    • Genet says:

      Thanks, Holly, for including my recipe in your “Best of.” I’m so glad the etouffee recipe worked out for you. But I’m most appreciative of the fact that you reached out to me thereby making me aware of your site–it’s awesome. I look forward to keeping up with your inspirational and fun posts and sharing your content with others!

  2. Rodger says:

    I had crawfish étouffée in Atlanta a while back and it was absolutely delicious. So, I decided to give it a try at home. The étouffée sauce came out great, but the frozen crawfish tails (Boudreaux) was so disgusting that the entire dish ended up in the trash. (Yes, I added the crawfish to the sauce without tasting the crawfish first. Dumb.) The frozen crawfish tasted fishy and muddy. The crawfish in Atlanta was sweet with no fishy taste at all. So … The question is – is all frozen crawfish like that or did I just get a bad batch? Frozen crawfish aint cheap, so I’m reluctant to try this again.

    • Genet says:

      Hey Rodger! So sorry to hear that! Although frozen tails are not as “bright” as the freshly boiled ones, they should never taste fishy or muddy. I’ve used Boudreaux tails many times in the past and have never had an issue. So it sounds like you got a bad batch. I feel your pain! Frozen tails are crazy-expensive these days and making etouffee is a time-consuming process. But please don’t throw in the towel just yet. My suggestion would be try to either try it again with frozen crawfish tails–be sure to thaw them in the fridge, drain any excess liquid (but not the flavorful yellow/orange fat) from the bag and smell and taste a tail before adding them to the sauce. If they don’t smell or taste right, return them to the store for a refund!! Or … make shrimp etouffee instead. Best of luck to you!

  3. Pingback: Crawfish Soup
  4. carol says:

    Just completed this Yummmmmmmmy

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