Paw Paw’s Catfish Courtbouillion I

  • Yield : 6
  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 60m
  • Cook Time : 60m
  • Ready In : 2:0 h
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This classic dish was inspired by a wonderful restaurant in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Paw Paw’s Seafood and Steak House. They were always more than happy to share their famous courtbouillon recipe; although this restaurant has now closed, their recipe lives on.


  • 4 pounds dressed cut-up catfish
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup celery chopped and a few minced celery leaves
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup green onions bottoms; then cut up the onion tops
  • 2 tbsp or more of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 can tomato paste or 2 according to taste
  • 1 large can tomatoes
  • Salt, red and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water (approximately)


Step 1

Allow 1/2 to 3/4 pounds of dressed, cut-up catfish per each adult. Apply salt, black and cayenne pepper and paprika to fish. Dip fish generously in flour and fry in a hot vegetable oil until deep golden brown all over. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Step 2

In large (preferably black cast iron or heavy aluminium) Dutch oven, prepare the following:

Step 3

Sauté the ingredients in the order given (oil, garlic, onion, celery, bell pepper, green onions, onion tops, parsley, tomato paste, canned tomato) and cook over medium heat uncovered until grease comes to the top.

Step 4

Place the fried fish in this preparation so that no piece is touching each other.

Step 5

Lower the heat, add water and put the lid on pot cooking slowly for approximately 30 minutes more being very careful not to stir (as this would break the fish). If absolutely necessary, swish whole pot with the lid on gently from side to side to avoid breaking up the fish.

Step 6

Serve in gumbo (flat soup) plates over hot rice and you have a delicious South Louisiana Acadian Meal!

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