My husband and I lived in Houston, TX for 7 years and absolutely fell in LOVE with Cajun food. Crawfish (AKA crawdads or mudbugs to some Southerners!) are basically just itty bitty lobsters with a slightly stronger flavor. Crawfish boils were popular down there and fans were quickly divided into 2 categories…those that suck the head and those that do NOT. I am of the NOT category…just seemed kindof icky but there are people that swear by it!
We moved to Georgia 12 years ago and while they have some great peaches and make some killer fried chicken, sadly the crawdad is not real popular here. We had to start learning to make our own Cajun food and found a few shortcuts along the way!
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In order to make really supreme etouffee, you really need to invest in some Old Bay Seasoning. This is key to getting the true flavor of this dish! It is easily found in the seasoning section of your local grocery store.
When buying crawfish, I have found that it is easiest to buy the frozen tail meat that is already cooked. Keep your eyes open from February through April when they are in season in Louisiana and stock up on it. It keeps just fine for 6 months or more in the freezer. READ THE LABELS or you will be buying crawfish meat from China. While Louisiana isn’t exactly LOCAL, it is a lot closer than China!
And, don’t skimp on the butter! The flavor of this meal is awesome and deserves nothing less than real butter!
Most of the work is just the dicing of the veggies and the steaming of the rice. Do this the night before and this meal will take you less than 30 minutes from start to finish!
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2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups chicken stock (divided…I used Knorr Homestyle Stock)
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped bell pepper
1 pound crawfish tail meat
1/3 cup flour
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to your taste)
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
fresh parsley (chopped) for garnish
1. Steam the 2 cups of rice with approximately 2 cups of the chicken stock until done. You can do this on the stove top or the oven as well, whichever is your preferred method of cooking rice!
2. Heat the butter in a large sauce pan (about an 8 cup size pot) over medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery, and pepper and saute until tender (about 10 minutes)
3. Add the crawfish tail meat and bay leaves and simmer 3 to 4 more minutes.
4. In a small bowl, add the flour and slowly whisk in the stock until smooth. Add this to your pot along with the remaining seasonings.
5. Let simmer over low heat about 15 minutes to blend all the flavors. Make sure you remove the bay leaves before serving!
6. Serve over rice with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for decoration.
Disclaimer: As per FTC policy, I received one free product coupon for the Knor stock but was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.