That store bought crawfish rice stuffed chicken we had yesterday was so good I set out to see if I could replicate it. There are scads of recipes online and I looked at several to get a feel for what would work and settled for a fairly simple one that didn’t include canned soups.
It looked like I would need to find some crawfish tails, so I took my list in hand and went to market. Found some first place I looked. Yay!
I set those to thaw, started some white rice, and busied myself dicing the onions, the green pepper, and the celery. I added some ground pork along with the ground beef and got the meat and the trinity plus a half dozen cloves of minced garlic cooking in a big skillet.
I started adding some creole seasoning and tasting and adding more until the heat seemed reasonable.
I had some seasoning made up already but thought I would nod to the folks that made the stuffed chicken that sent me on this track. When the rice was done I added it and the crawfish tails to the mix with a half stick of butter and combined everything nicely, adding more seasoning while I was at it.
This was tasting so good! I crammed a roasting chicken full and tied the legs up with string…
gave the whole bird a good dusting with the seasoning and set it in a 350 oven in a covered roaster for about an hour and a half. The lid came off for another twenty minutes or so and…Ta-Da!
I had made up my mind to make some chili today, last night I took a couple packages of my homemade chorizo out of the freezer to thaw. For some reason Mrs J asked about shrimp etouffee, said she would really like some of that. I last made etouffee back in July, so it has been a while. I told her that we had everything we needed and got a bag of frozen shrimp tails out to thaw. These were headless, and had been deveined, but still had the shell on-perfect for the stock the recipe called for.
So then, first order of business was peeling the shrimp and making stock. Stock is fairly easy: Slice a lemon, dice some celery and onion, a few cloves of garlic, some peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, and some thyme–toss all that into a sauce pan with the shells, cover with water, and simmer for an hour or so. [Stock recipe and the recipe for the etouffee are linked above.]
When the stock is done start some rice to go with the shrimp. I used jasmine rice and prepared it in a rice cooker. Worked well.
With the rice started it was time to start the etouffee. I used my trusty cast iron Dutch oven for this, but any heavy sauce pot should be fine. Melt the butter. The recipe calls for the veggies to go in next, I made the roux first, then added the veggies. Works both ways. All I had today was a red bell pepper, the green ones are part of the classic trinity of veggies, but the red or yellow peppers will work just fine. Add some Cajun seasoning, I used some I made earlier, here is a pretty good recipe, or you could use store bought. I imagine Emeril’s Bayou Blast would work fine. After cooking the veggie/roux mixture for a few minutes, start adding the stock. Add it ladle by ladle, stop adding when the mixture looks right, make it as thin or as thick as you like. When it gets to where you want it, add the Worcestershire, the Tabasco, the tomatoes (I used canned today) and the garlic. Lacking fresh thyme, I used some dried. Salt and pepper to taste. Give it 20 minutes at a simmer, add more stock if you want. Last, add the shrimp and the green onions. Increase the heat and bring it back to a simmer, another 10 minutes should be plenty to cook the shrimp through.
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