Crawfish Bisque

Crawfish Bisque

Making crawfish bisque is a labor of love and a team effort.

Unless you live in Louisiana, it is doubtful that you can source the ingredients needed, especially the crawfish heads, and you may not appreciate the effort that one must put forth to create this revered dish. Crawfish bisque is rarely found in restaurants. Rather, it is a treasured passed down family recipe and family and friend cooking and eating experience.

I was honored to receive an original recipe from a friends 90 year old mother who lived in New Iberia in Cajun country. Kinta Oubre Dautreuil was still stuffing heads and making bisque at 90 years of age. I used her recipe as a basic guideline and researched other recipes from Leon Soniat, Tom Fitzmorris and other home cooks that were willing to share their techniques and secrets. The recipe below reflects years of trial and error, cooking, tasting and testing. Any recipe can always stand to be improved. However, I feel that I have reached something close to perfection with the crawfish bisque recipe that I am sharing.

The recipe below appears to be daunting. However, if you think of it in parts, and make it a little at a time, it is possible. You will not be disappointed.

  1. Seafood stock, preferably shrimp stock. Refer to my Sur le Plat shrimp stock recipe.
  2. 100 -125 cleaned crawfish heads. Can freeze in large zip loc bags after cleaning
  3. 4-1lb bags of cleaned crawfish tails
  4. crawfish stuffing for heads
  5. basic roux and gumbo like soup or bisque

My daughter Maggie and her husband Devin and Gayden and I recently gathered one evening for the annual ritual of making crawfish bisque. Our family team stuffed over 100 heads and made a deep dark roux in two cast iron pots for the bisque. Once the crawfish tails were added ad the bisque allowed to simmer for an hour, we placed a dollop of steaming rice in the center of each bowl. This was followed by ladles of the soupy aromatic crawfish filled bisque. Finally, we floated the spicy stuffed heads in the broth. When we sat at the table to enjoy the fruits of our labor, there was first only silence and then quiet moaning as we tasted the goodness and the complexity of flavors from the tips of our tongues to the bottom of our feet. Ahhhh,  the sacred crawfish bisque.

Until next year…..bon appetit!


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