Crawfish Étouffée
Crawfish Étouffée
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Crawfish étouffée is one of the best dishes to introduce someone to Cajun cooking. The beautiful peanut butter-colored roux, the trinity—onions, bell pepper and celery—and the protein of your choice create fantastic flavor together. The classic proteins are shrimp and crawfish, but can be made with chicken, mushrooms and even lobster. Think of this as an upgrade to your traditional gravy and rice.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 1 medium Spanish or white onion, chopped  
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped  
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock 
  • 2 pounds peeled crawfish tails 
  • 1 bunch green onions (3 to 4 bulbs), sliced (about 3/4 cup) 
  • 4 cups cooked rice, for serving 
  • Hot sauce, for serving 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to lightly smoke, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until it turns a peanut butter brown color. Turn off the heat. Stir in the celery, onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Return the heat to medium to medium-low and stir in the garlic and bay leaves. While the trinity cooks, combine the cayenne, thyme, white pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Stir into the skillet, a little at a time, to build flavor (see Cook’s Note).
  2. Whisk in the stock 1 cup at a time, making sure it is incorporated and smooth. Bring to a boil, then cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the crawfish and cook until they tighten in appearance, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, then stir in half of the green onions. Serve immediately over fluffed rice with hot sauce and garnish with the remaining green onions.

NOTES

  • Seasoning the vegetables a little at a time with the savory seasoning at each stage builds and deepens the flavors of the étouffée.

 

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