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Crawfish Étouffée 11:30

Wilfredo Avelar

This dish is rich, hearty, and bursting with New Orleans personality.

Crawfish Étouffée 11:30

Wilfredo Avelar

This dish is rich, hearty, and bursting with New Orleans personality.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. To make a roux, add the butter to a Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour. Continuously stir the mixture as it cooks. Scrape the sides to ensure that the roux does not brown too quickly. Switch to a whisk and continue to stir. Occasionally switch back to using the spoon to clear the sides of the pot. Cook and stir the roux until it takes on the color of peanut butter, or for about eight minutes. 00:30

  2. 2. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers to the roux and mix to combine. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften. Add green onion bottoms, garlic, and diced tomatoes. 04:16

  3. 3. Add the stock and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the cayenne pepper, tomato paste, creole seasoning blend, and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the lid on the Dutch oven. Continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the roux is cooked out and the liquid does not taste like raw flour. 06:23

  4. 4. Open the package of Louisiana crawfish tails and add the contents to the thickened liquid. Cook until the crawfish is warmed through, or for about five minutes. Add the green onion tops and stir to combine. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately alongside steamed rice. 09:32

What You'll Need


- Dutch oven or pot
- Wooden spoon
- Whisk
- Serving bowl


- Butter (1/4 pound)
- Flour (1/4 pound)
- Onions, diced (4 cups)
- Celery, diced (2 cups)
- Green bell pepper, diced (2 cups)
- Green onion, chopped (1 bunch, tops and bottoms reserved seperately)
- Garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
- Diced tomatoes (1 14.5 ounce can)
- Shrimp or chicken stock (3 cups)
- Cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
- Tomato paste (1 tablespoon)
- Creole seasoning (2 tablespoons)*
- Kosher salt (2 teaspoons)
- Louisiana crawfish tails (2 1-pound packages)
- Steamed white rice (for serving)
- Parsley, chopped (2 tablespoons, as garnish)

*For the creole seasoning recipe, see Chef Notes. 

Chef Notes

In French, étouffée means ‘to smother.’ Chef Wilfredo uses crawfish in his étouffée, but the dish can also be prepared with shrimp, chicken, or rabbit.

A roux is made with equal parts fat (e.g. butter) and flour. It is used to thicken soups, stews, and sauces. To learn how to make a roux, visit Chef Bryon Freeze's "How to Make a Roux" tutorial located at the bottom of the page. 

When the flour and butter first come together it is called a blonde roux. A blonde roux is typically used in applications when you do not want to add much additional color such as clear stocks, or a béchamel sauce. As the roux continues to cook, it develops a brown color and a rich, nutty flavor.

A trinity in New Orleans is the basis of many dishes; it is made up of equal amounts of onion, celery, and bell pepper. Trinities may vary from region to region. The French version is called a mirepoix, which uses carrots instead of peppers. The Spanish version is called soffritos, and is used as the base for paella.

Louisiana crawfish tails come pre-cooked and as a result, need to be heated rather than cooked. If using fresh, raw shrimp, add towards the end of the cooking process, about 10 minutes prior to serving in order to allow enough time for them to cook through.

Chef Wilfredo refers to "Emeril's Essence," which is the creole seasoning used in many of his recipes. For this recipe, visit Chef Wilfredo's"An Overview of Creole Seasoning" tutorial located at the bottom of the page. 


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Taught by


Chef Wilfredo Avelar

New Orleans

Will Avelar, a New Orleans Native and Sous Chef at Emeril’s Delmonico, spent his childhood in Costa Rica, where he was ... read more