A Duo of Fish Courtbouillon

A Duo of Fish Courtbouillon

Air Date: March 23, 2017. Source: Chef John Folse.

Prep Time: 1½ Hours

Yields: 6 Servings


Although courtbouillon is best known as a flavorful poaching liquid for fish and shellfish, in Louisiana it has evolved into a sumptuous roux-based seafood stew. At one time, redfish was the only ingredient used in the courtbouillons of Cajun Country, but any firm-fleshed fish will work.


3 (8-ounce) redfish fillets

1 pound crawfish tails

¾ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup flour

2 cups diced onions

1 cup diced celery

½ cup diced red bell peppers

¼ cup minced garlic

1 (12-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1½ quarts fish stock

¾ cup dry red wine

2½ tbsps lemon juice

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp chopped thyme

1 tbsp chopped basil

¼ tsp dried marjoram

? tsp allspice

salt and black pepper to taste

Louisiana hot sauce to taste

1 cup sliced green onions

½ cup chopped parsley

6 lemon slices


Cut each fillet into 3 equal slices and set aside. In a cast iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until dark brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Stir in tomatoes with juice. Pour in fish stock, 1 ladle at a time, until a sauce-like consistency is achieved. Add red wine, lemon juice, bay leaves, thyme, basil, marjoram and allspice. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Additional stock may be needed to retain sauce-like consistency. Sauce should be slightly thick. When seafood is added, liquid will be rendered and thin the sauce. Blend in crawfish and fish then bring to a low boil and cook 3–5 minutes or until firm but not falling apart. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add green onions and parsley then adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with lemon slices.