How to Cook Traditional Crawfish Étouffée

by Francis Martin

There are probably as many different ways to cook traditional étouffée as there are gumbos - none more right or wrong than the next. But this recipe is phenomenal, and very authentic.


  • ¾ Cups Canola Oil
  • ¾ Cups Sifted white flour
  • ¼ Cups Green Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • ¼ Cups Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Basil, Dried
  • ½ Teaspoons Thyme, Dried
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Green Onions, Chopped
  • 2 Pounds Crawfish Meat/Tails
  • 14 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Cups White rice, Cooked
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Crawfish Étoufée can sound like a very complex dish to cook, but truthfully, it's not that difficult. By employing the oven-baked roux technique, you can focus on ingredient prep.

    Step 2

    Oven-baked Dutch-oven Roux. Mix equal parts oil and sifted flour - 3/4 c. of each, put in Dutch-oven on middle shelf at 350°, stirring every 30m for approx two hours, until dark like milk chocolate.

    Step 3

    2 c. Chicken Broth

    Step 4

    1/4 c. finely chopped bell peppers and 1/4 c. finely chopped celery

    Step 5

    1/4 c. finely chopped onion

    Step 6

    3/4 c. finely chopped green onion

    Step 7

    Spice mixture - mix all the dry spices in a small bowl

    Step 8

    Vegetable and spice ingredients together

    Step 9

    2lbs of Louisiana-raised crawfish meat. Order from Lousiana Crawfish Company; they're the best. Absolutely terrific, and trust me, there IS a difference.

    Step 10

    Roux with chopped onion cooking

    Step 11

    Roux and cooked onion having bell pepper/celery mixture added

    Step 12

    Mix bell pepper/celery mixture into Roux and onion mixture in pot and pull off of the heat to cool

    Step 13

    When roux, onion, celery, bell pepper have darkened slightly, stop stirring constantly and move to next step.

    Step 14

    Add 1 Tbsp of spice mixture to Roux/vegetables mixture

    Step 15

    Roux, off heat, chicken broth, and large pot for cooking butter, green onions, and crawfish meat

    Step 16

    Adding roux to the 2 c. chicken stock/broth

    Step 17

    Adding roux to the 2 c. chicken stock/broth, whisking in gradually

    Step 18

    Finished incorporating roux into chicken broth/stock

    Step 19

    Keep stirring periodically for 5 minutes

    Step 20

    Remove roux and chicken broth/stock mixture from heat and move to crawfish/butter pan

    Step 21

    8 Tbsp. butter into crawfish pan

    Step 22

    Melt butter and sauté green onions briefly

    Step 23

    Melt butter and sauté green onions briefly

    Step 24

    Add 2lbs of good crawfish, the important part being "good" crawfish. The imported Chinese crawfish don't compare. I order from Louisiana Crawfish Co., and it makes a difference. Trust me.

    Step 25

    Cook crawfish and green onions in butter

    Step 26

    Begin to add the roux mixture incrementally to the crawfish/green onions and incorporate after each addition.

    Step 27

    Continue adding the roux mixture incrementally to the crawfish/green onions

    Step 28

    Simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes

    Step 29

    Finally, but what else, add more butter. If you want it right, you can't be afraid of the butter.

    Step 30

    Melt the butter and let simmer for a few minutes, and then YOU'RE DONE. Serve over a small mound of white rice, grab a seat, a good beer, and a bottle of Crystal hot sauce and enjoy your labor.

    Step 31

    Close up of final étouffée.

    Step 32

    Make a small mound of white jasmine or long grain rice in the middle of a wide bowl and ring with étouffée. Top with green onions.

    Step 33