River Road Crawfish Stew

Prep Time: 1 and 1/2 Hours
Yields: 10 Servings

Like gumbo and jambalaya, crawfish stew is synonymous with Cajun cooking. This is a perfect recipe to prepare on a cool night at the camp. There is much time for relaxing and entertaining company as the stew slowly simmers.


5 pounds crawfish tails, cleaned
1 cup crawfish fat (optional)
2 cups crawfish claws (optional)
1/4 cup butter
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups flour
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
3 quarts water or shellfish stock (see recipe)
2 bay leaves
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped parsley

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Drain crawfish tails in a colander, reserving fat and natural juices. Saute tails 5-10 minutes or until curled and heated thoroughly but not overcooked. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic then set aside. In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until a dark brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are well caramelized. Stir occasionally to prevent vegetables from scorching. Pour in tomato sauce and cook 3 minutes. Slowly add water or stock, 1 quart at a time, until thick stew consistency is achieved. Add crawfish fat, reserved drippings and bay leaves. Season lightly with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer and add sauteed crawfish and pan drippings. Simmer stew approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Additional water or stock may be needed during the cooking process to retain volume and consistency. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Add green onions, parsley and crawfish claws (optional). Cook 15-20 minutes or until desired richness is achieved. Serve hot over steamed white rice, pasta or your favorite fish recipe.