A Recipe For Crawfish Étouffée With The Holy Trinity

The World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-Off was started in 1986 in Eunice, the ‘Prairie Cajun Capitol of Louisiana’. That first year none other than Dewey Balfa provided entertainment to the 107 cooking teams, and hungry assembled Cajuns.

Then-mayor Curtis Joubert courted controversy by banning electric rice cookers stating: “…rice cookers are not Cajun, and only black pots are in.”

Our kind of man. We’ve never had a pot of rice come out of one of those contraptions that can hold a candle to a slow-simmered cast-iron version.

Donald Doga, winner of The World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-Off. Credit: Opelousas Daily World

The St. Landry Parish Clerk of court Donald Doga won the amateur division of that first year while Quality Inn of Opelousas won the pro division. You know you’re deep in the heart of Acadiana when a Quality Inn puts out the finest crawfish Étouffée in the land.

In the March 25th 1987 edition of the Opelousas Daily World, chef Doga shared his secrets: “You start with your onions and you saute your onions down real good. You may use oil you may use butter, the choice is the chef’s. After the onion is sauteed, tomato paste or tomato sauce is added along with onion tops and parsley. You cook it down and add your crawfish to it. Some people thicken it with flour, some with corn starch. Some people put crawfish fat in it, some don’t

Paul Prudhomme reportedly begged Doga for his recipe but the court clerk was not having it. Doga was pure Louisiana.

If you ask a hundred Cajuns for their crawfish Étouffée recipe you’re going to get a hundred different versions. Just like asking a Texan for his chili recipe or a Kentuckian for his burgoo formula.

The following is our crawfish etouffée recipe. It won’t be that much better than the best you’ve ever eaten.

16 oz crawfish, Louisiana-sourced only (we do not use crawfish from other countries)

3 each, onions, yellow, chopped

6 ribs, celery, chopped

1 head garlic, chopped

2 each, peppers, bell, green, chopped

2 each, peppers, bell, yellow, chopped

2 each, peppers, bell, red, chopped

1 T. cayenne, powder

2 quarts stock, chicken

1/2 c. roux

Method

* Heat large cast-iron kettle over medium flame with 1/4 stick butter

* Add onion, cook for 15 minutes

* Add celery, cook for 15 minutes

* Add garlic, bell peppers, and cayenne powder cook 15 minutes

* Add crawfish, cook 5 minutes

* Add stock, bring to boil, slowly thicken with roux, do not add all the roux

Voila! Your Crawfish Étouffée is at the ready. We garnish with freshly chopped green onion and serve over Louisiana grown rice.

If you want to get fancy with your crawfish etouffée, serve it over pilaf.

How To Make Cajun Green Onion Rice Pilaf

and we always make homemade chicken stock

An obituary for Donald Doga: The First World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-Off Winner

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