With all the recipes that will come your way throughout this crawfish season, it only makes sense to start with the one that will enhance every single one of them. Plus, this will give you a reason to save some of those shells. A good stock can elevate any recipe, and because of all the delicious fat inside of a crawfish head, this stock is kick ass, and easy to make!
- Add more crawfish heads to make the stock richer. You will NOT need salt in this recipe because the crawfish have plenty from the boil. This recipe calls for about 3 to 5lbs of heads. Use 7 lbs for a more flavorful stock.
- Add plenty of aromatics. For the most flavorful stock, add chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the stockpot as well as bay leaves, peppercorns and fresh herbs. Other vegetables like fennel and leek are excellent to add. You can get creative with spices as well. Little cayenne for a spicier stock.
- Keep the stock at a gentle simmer. By keeping the stock at a low simmer while it cooks, we help keep the stock as clear as possible.
Yield= 4 qts
- Large Stock Pot
- Heads and Claws from roughly 6lbs of whole boiled crawfish
- 1 onion, quartered
- 3 stalks celery, halved with leaves
- 2 Carrots halved
- 1 Red Bell Peppers, Quartered
- 2 Heads of garlic. Halved
- 1 bunch Green Onions
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
- 3 tsp Whole Coriander Seeds
- 1 Bunch Parsley
- 1 Bunch Fresh Thyme
- Cold Water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread heads and claws in a single layer on a baking sheet. Use two sheets if necessary.
- Place baking sheet(s) in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. This will allow the fat inside of the heads to render.
- While crawfish are roasting, prep other vegetables and herbs. Quarter onions and bell peppers. Half celery, carrots, heads of garlic. For easier cleanup tie herbs in twine and put coriander seeds and whole peppercorns into a spice bag. Rinse Green onions and parsley.
- Remove shells from oven. Place shells and all juices into a large stock pot.
- Place stock pot on stove on high heat. Add all herbs, spices, and vegetables to pot with shells.
- Fill pot with cold water. You want to fully cover ingredients by about 2 inches.
- Bring to a roaring boil, stirring occasionally to prevent ingredients from burning on bottom.
- Reduce heat to a high simmer, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stirring occasionally to keep ingredients well incorporated.
- Remove cover and maintain high simmer for an additional 2 hours until liquid has reduced by roughly half of original volume.
- Turn off heat and allow to cool for easier handling. This time will also give the stock more time to come together. Once cool, place colander over a large bowl and remove large items from pot into bowl. Allow to strain.
- Discard large items and return liquid to the pot.
- Place cheese cloth over colander or use a fine mesh strainer to remove and additional solids from liquid. Strain liquid into a bowl.
- Pour strained liquid into quart containers with a lid. You can use glass jars if planning to use immediately. Do not use glass if freezing, liquid will expand when frozen and break the jar. Use plastic quart containers. These can easily be found at a restaurant supply store.
- Stock can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in a freezer for up to six months. Use stock in place of water or store-bought stock in your favorite gumbo, jambalaya, or etouffee recipes. Can also be used to jazz of a bisque or soup recipe.
Use fresh herbs if possible. This will just add more flavor to your stock. Tying them together with butchers’ twine will make them easier to remove later. If you must use dried herbs, place in same spice bag with peppercorns and coriander.
When using your stock in recipes, be mindful of the salt in your recipe. The crawfish shells will have residual salt from the boiling spice, and you may be able to omit salt all together from your recipes. Add to taste when making anything using this stock in place of water or a store-bought stock.
Feel free to contact Clutch City Crawfish with any recipe questions. We’re happy to help.