Bonus Recipe: Classic Crawfish Bisque

Happy Crawfish Season! These delectable little creatures are fit for backyard boils to fancy feasts. On Christmas day, we served crawfish bisque for lunch. I had saved the heads from the last boil of the spring season in the freezer. I stuffed them and let them swim a rich velvety dark roux in my grandmother’s china. It was a meal fit for a king (see what I did there?). Because another glorious crawfish season is upon us, here’s my recipe for crawfish bisque (as best I can recall it from the holidays.) Enjoy!

IMGP2657Classic Crawfish Bisque
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
5 ribs of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste
Seafood seasoning to taste
1 bay leaf
12 cups seafood stock
5 pounds crawfish tails, cooked

Stuffed Crawfish Heads
1 loaf day-old French bread
1 large cornbread crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 ribs of celery, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
1 pound crawfish tails, cooked
1 – 2 cups seafood stock
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2+ dozen crawfish heads, hollowed out
1/2 cup flour

For the Stuffed Heads:
Do this a day or two ahead. Crumble or blend the bread to coarse crumbs and place in a very large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the eggs. Fold in the onions, celery, bell pepper and parsley. Fold in the crawfish. Slowly pour in the stock until the mixture is moist and sticky, but not soupy. Stir in seasonings and Worcestershire. Stuff the heads with the bread mixture until nearly full; dressing will expand as it bakes. Roll each head in flour and store refrigerated until ready to put in the bisque.

For the Bisque:
Combine the oil and flour in a large cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes. It will make a medium brown roux, the color of peanut butter. Add onions, bell peppers and celery. Add seasonings and bay leaf. Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Add the crawfish tails and stuffed heads. Cook for 15-20 minutes more until heads are warmed through. Serve as is or over rice.

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