In Louisiana, crawfish season signals the arrival of spring. This classic Cajun étouffée starts with a simply seasoned roux. Enriched with crawfish fat, the recipe closely resembles the original 20s dish created by Mrs. Charles Hebert at the eponymous Breaux Bridge Hebert Hotel. A longtime Lenten favorite, crawfish étouffée has inspired dozens of variations including Creole versions that add tomatoes. Mrs. Hebert did not.

Mary Allen Perry


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Sprinkle the crawfish with the hot sauce and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper.

  • Stir together the oil and flour in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes or until the roux is the color of a penny.

  • Stir in the celery and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the crawfish and 1/2 cup water; cook over low, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

  • Stir in the salt, black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cream. Serve over the rice.