Cajun Crawfish Bisque

Crawfish Bisque with Rice and French Bread
Spoonful of Cajun Crawfish Bisque with two stuffed heads
Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.5
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Crawfish Bisque is the Dean of Cajun cuisine. Traditionally prepared late in crawfish season as a way to use up all the extra crawfish. Preparation is usually a family affair, as cleaned crawfish heads are stuffed with a filling made from ground crawfish tails, vegetables and spices. These stuffed heads are added to a rich bisque made from the trinity cooked down in a roux with herbs and spices and a rich crawfish stock. It doesn't get any better than this!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Spoonful of Cajun Crawfish Bisque with two stuffed heads
Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Crawfish Bisque is the Dean of Cajun cuisine. Traditionally prepared late in crawfish season as a way to use up all the extra crawfish. Preparation is usually a family affair, as cleaned crawfish heads are stuffed with a filling made from ground crawfish tails, vegetables and spices. These stuffed heads are added to a rich bisque made from the trinity cooked down in a roux with herbs and spices and a rich crawfish stock. It doesn't get any better than this!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Here's What You Need
For stuffing the heads
For the bisque
Here's What You Do
To stuff the heads
  1. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the crawfish tails.
  2. Place the remaining tails into a food processor and grind until fine, place in a bowl.
  3. Take the reserved crawfish tails and roughly chop them into small pieces, place them with the ground tails.
  4. Place the onions, celery, garlic and parsley in the food processor and chop until very fine.
  5. Place the vegetables in the bowl with the crawfish and make sure to include any juice generated by the food processing.
  6. To the bowl add the eggs, creole seasoning and pepper.
  7. Add the breadcrumbs, starting with about 1 cup. Mix all together with your hands. Add more breadcrumbs as needed to make sure it holds together.
  8. Stuff the crawfish heads with the filling. Starting on the wider end of the head’s opening, use your left index finger to spread the shell open, place filling into the head and stuff it tightly with your right index finger. Alternately, you could forego stuffing the heads and form the filling into small balls known as boulettes.
  9. Place all the stuffed heads on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
To make the bisque:
  1. Place the tail meat in a bowl, sprinkle with creole seasoning and set aside.
  2. Place 8 cups of crawfish stock in a stock pot and warm until almost boiling.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron dutch oven over high heat.
  4. When the oil is shimmering, add the flour and whisk constantly until you have a medium roux. Add the trinity (yellow onions, celery and bell peppers) into the roux and stir constantly until softened, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, about 2/3 of the green onions and the creole seasoning. Stir until blended and becoming aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the crawfish tails in about four batches and the tomato sauce, stir to mix well.
  7. Making sure the stock is about the same temperature as the roux mixture, slowly add stock to the roux and crawfish, a ladle at a time, stirring to completely blend the stock into the roux mixture before adding the next ladle.
  8. Continue this, one ladle at a time, until about half of the stock has been added, then you can add the balance of the stock and mix together very well. Make sure there are no lumps.
  9. Bring the bisque to a high boil, reduce heat to a medium simmer and let it simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered.
  10. Add the stuffed crawfish heads and return to a boil.
  11. Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir often to keep the heads off the bottom of the pot.
  12. Add some of the reserved stock if it gets too thick.
  13. After 45 minutes add the parsley and stir well.
  14. Serve in a bowl over a scoop of white rice, making sure to get some of the stuffed heads in each serving. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top.
Recipe Notes

If you don’t have heads, you can form boulettes- small balls made from the stuffing mix.

If you don't have access to crawfish stock, you can substitute seafood, chicken or vegetable stock.

Cut the prep time down-get some help stuffing the heads-that's where the time is involved!

Be careful adding salt to this without tasting it. There will be some residual salt from the crawfish boil if you are using reserved shells to make the stock, as well as potentially salt in the commercial creole seasoning.

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Amount Per Serving
Calories 485 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 824mg 34%
Potassium 475mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 5g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 36%
Vitamin C 52%
Calcium 17%
Iron 43%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cajun Crawfish Étouffée

crawfish etouffee over rice with green onions on a white and green plate
Crawfish smothering in gravy
Cajun Crawfish Étouffée
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
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Crawfish Etouffee is a simple yet tasty and homey plate of crawfish tails smothered in rich gravy, served over rice. Its a staple in South Louisiana in both Cajun and Creole cuisines. Sprinkle some chopped green onions on top and serve with a green salad and some fresh, crunchy french bread.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
60 minutes 206
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
60 minutes 206
Crawfish smothering in gravy
Cajun Crawfish Étouffée
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Crawfish Etouffee is a simple yet tasty and homey plate of crawfish tails smothered in rich gravy, served over rice. Its a staple in South Louisiana in both Cajun and Creole cuisines. Sprinkle some chopped green onions on top and serve with a green salad and some fresh, crunchy french bread.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
60 minutes 206
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
60 minutes 206
Here's What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
Here's What You Do
  1. Place the crawfish tails in a bowl and sprinkle with some creole seasoning and set aside. Chop the yellow onions, peppers, celery and set aside in a bowl for later. Chop the green onions and set aside. Chop the garlic and set aside. Mix the Herb and Spice Blend in a small bowl. Set the butter aside to soften and the flour for the roux.
  2. Place about 3 cups of the seafood stock in a stock pot to warm (reserve the remainder if needed to thin the etouffee at the end).
  3. Place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 8 tablespoons of butter until bubbly, then add the flour and whisk continuously to make a medium roux, the color of light chocolate milk. (See Recipe Notes)
  4. Add the onions, celery and green peppers (the Trinity) to the roux, and continue to stir still over medium-high heat until smooth and moist, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add about half the green onions and all the garlic; continue to sauté until aromatic-about 1 to 2 minutes; add about 1/2 of the Herb and Spice mix and both bay leaves and mix well to combine; continue to sauté about 5 more minutes.
  6. While the veggie/roux mixture is finishing up, turn the heat to high under the stock pot and bring the stock to a rolling boil.
  7. When the veggie/roux mixture is ready, mix it into the boiling stock with a slotted spoon, one spoonful at a time, stirring until the whole spoonful is fully dissolved. Continue this until all the veggie/roux mixture is incorporated into the stock, making sure to return the stock to a full rolling boil in between spoons. Set the cast iron pot aside, do not clean it.
  8. Allow the gravy to remain at a high boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover the stock pot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Turn the heat to medium high under the cast iron pan used for the roux and add 2 tablespoons of butter. As the butter melts scrape up any fond that's stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  10. When the butter is foaming, add about 1/2 to 2/3 of the reserved green onions (saving some to sprinkle on top of the etouffee when serving) and sauté a minute or two, then add the crawfish tails and about half of the remaining Herb and Spice Blend. Mix well until all the crawfish are coated with butter.
  11. Sauté about 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly; you’ll see some liquid developing from the butter and rendering the crawfish. (See Recipe Notes).
  12. Ladle the gravy mixture into the crawfish tails and mix well. The liquid from sautéing the tails in the butter will thin out the gravy.
  13. Mix well, taste for spice and add more if needed. When this comes to a heavy simmer, lower the heat to a slight simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered while the flavors all come together. If you think it is getting too thick, place the cover on the pan while it simmers; if it's still too thick, add some reserved stock to thin it out.
  14. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and shake the pan back and forth, don’t stir, until the butter is melted into the etouffee-then give it one final gentle stir.
  15. Remove the bay leaves and serve over white rice.
Recipe Notes

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The roux will continue to brown somewhat after you add the Trinity, so you may want to add them when the roux is just a little lighter than you want.

Frozen crawfish tails will already be parboiled, so it is not necessary to cook them for a long period of time. If you are using leftovers from a crawfish boil, then the tails are completely cooked.

Etouffee refers more to a method of cooking. The crawfish are smothered in a rich gravy.  So it should be no surprise that given the bounty of Louisiana, this recipe is also great with shrimp, chicken or even rabbit.

If you aren't lucky enough to have some fresh crawfish available, you can find frozen tails in a lot of better supermarkets or seafood markets. They generally come in 1 pound packages. I highly recommend that you use Louisiana crawfish, but read the labels-often times what you find is crawfish from China. To me, its the fat in the Louisiana crawfish that makes them sweet. The Chinese crawfish taste bitter to me and not sweet like the ones from the Bayou State. If you have to use Chinese or anything except Louisiana, rinse them well prior to use, let them drain, then pat them dry with paper towels.  You can also buy Louisiana crawfish online at sites like Cajun Grocer or Tony's Seafood (no affiliation with either company). You can also get some great Louisiana Crawfish Tails with the ease of Amazon-ordering by clicking this link.

If you don't have crawfish stock, you can substitute chicken stock, either commercial or homemade or commercial seafood stock.

 

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Crawfish Étouffée
Amount Per Serving
Calories 206 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 424mg 18%
Potassium 448mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 5%
Iron 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.