Crawfish Bisque


Get fo’ or t’ree of y’all’s people together; maybe your nonc or your parraine and Granmere’ and f’sho your cher ami, especially if y’all make double or quadruple batches. Good company around the make-table makes the time go fast and the food taste better. This recipe quantity allows for freezing. If you do not have crawfish heads, you can shape the mixture into “bites” and bake. The picture, of course, reflects not having the crawfish head carcass.

Rick Arnette is A Facebook Fan and Country Road s Contributor



  • 10 pounds peeled crawfish
  • 4 large white onions quartered
  • 4 bell peppers quartered
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 bunch de-stemmed parsley
  • 4 bunches green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 toes garlic smashed
  • 3 dozen fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 cans (15 oz) plain bread crumbs - Reserve one
  • Tony Chachere's to taste
  • 2 cups Roux (more or less)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper chopped
  • 2 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 2 pods garlic finely chopped
  • 2 bay-leaf
  • Tony's Chachere or salt/pepper/cayenne to taste
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes per 1 quart of water


Step 1

For the stuffed heads: Run tails, seasoning veggies, and herbs through a food processor. Mix all ingredients in a very large bowl, reserving the last can of bread crumbs to add as needed until mixture has the proper consistency -- about 1/2 to 3/4 of the 4th can. Spoon mixture into quart size baggies and nip off one corner. Use like a pastry bag to fill the clean, dry carapace crawfish shells. Bake filled shells on parchment covered cookie sheets at 400F for 12 to 15 minutes. Yield 400-500 stuffed shells, depending on size of the shells. Allow to cool and pack in one gallon freezer bags. Freeze.

Step 2

Bisque Liquor: This is somewhere between a gumbo and a thick gravy, depending on your taste. It must be thin enough to permeate the stuffing without disintegrating it, but thick enough to have a heavy 'mouth feel'. This is a matter of personal preference, but the author likes his to barely coat a wooden spoon. The consistency of a thick tomato soup. Plan on one and one half cups to two cups per dozen stuffed heads.

Step 3

Make a gumbo base, but use only half as much water as you normally would. Dark roux, finely chopped seasoning vegetables (onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, celery), bay leaf, Tony's or salt, pepper, cayenne to taste, plus one can Rotel (or crushed) tomatoes per quart of water (do not use stock--water only). When it has simmered for a half hour or so, I like to strain out all the seasonings and tomato bits (except bay leaf), run through a food processor and put it back in. Add stuffed heads straight from the freezer and simmer, uncovered, on low heat for at least two hours, bearing in mind that the longer it slow cooks, the better it gets. Bisque should cover shells. If (by evaporation) it gets thicker than you like, add a little water as needed. Allow 6-8 shells/12 ounces bisque per person or 3-4 dozen shells/half gallon per Cajun.

1/2 cup Pernod, Absinthe, or Herbsaint - lightly saute the crawfish tails in one of these liqueur.


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