Monday, June 11, 2012

Crawfish Stock

 Yesterday, we spent an awesome afternoon at a crawfish boil on the Anacostia River waterfront. Burning lips, Abita beer, 90-something degree weather . . . it felt like I was back at home.

To our surprise (and delight), there were crawfish left over. So, we grabbed a box and spent the evening peeling the uneaten loot. The tail meat was prepped for freezing and the shelled crawfish heads were saved to make an absolutely amazing seafood stock. 

Now some people are purists when it comes to making a crawfish stock, insisting that you take the time to thoroughly rinse the shells to remove the boil seasoning. This method makes for a more delicate, subtle flavor. But I was a little tired and lazy last night, so I just threw everything in the stock pot and let it rip.

After about an hour, you have a great base for anything from bisques and gumbos and to crawfish pies, jambalaya and risottos.

  • 2 quarts leftover boiled crawfish shells
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • water

  1. Place the seasoned crawfish shells into a large stock pot. Add just enough water to cover.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 40-50 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Strain the stock through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve.
  5. Store in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 days. Freeze for later use.
Post-boil peeling set up on the balcony.

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