Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Just Messing Around in the Kitchen Part #2 (Crawfish Bisque)

with 26 comments


     Something I love to find in the supermarket is cooked crawfish. Now I have had the frozen tails and found the kind of rubbery but what make the whole cooked crawfish special is that, in addition to the meat being better, you have the makings for a great stock. By boiling the  crawfish shells you get a richness and complexity you can’t get from shrimp shells. What’s missing in the shrimp shells is the head and all the fatty goodness that goes with it. Also the Crawfish have been seasoned before cooking and that comes through in the stock. I have used the crawfish stock to make gumbo in the past but wanted something different this time. I decided on Bisque.

    I went to work peeling the Crawfish tails which is a fairly tedious venture but well worth it. Afterwards I put all the shells in a pot of water and set them to boiling. In about 30 minutes the entire kitchen smell of stock (a heavenly smell to me). Not being content with just boiling  I decided to use my hand mixer to grind up the shells to get extra flavor. Most folks don’t know it but this the the key to getting all the flavor you can out of a shellfish stock. I used to work in a restaurant that ground up the lobster shell for the lobster bisque and I can tell you the process works. The next step was to strain my stock through a fine mesh. I had some cheesecloth left over from making Ricotta cheese and this worked fine. Next I wanted to thicken my stock so I brought it to a boil again and thickened it with a Burre Manie. This is a paste of flour and butter used to thicken liquids. This worked fine and I got the richness of the butter as a bonus. I then added 1/2 pt. of heavy whipping cream. I didn’t have any Sherry for my Bisque so I decided to omit it. In the end I added my Crawfish tails. I didn’t really measure much while making this Bisque/Soup. Still it turned out really good.

     Next time you spot cooked Crawfish in the store don’t pass it by. It is well worth the work to get something exceptional from, these little mudbugs (as they are called down South).


Written by Ed Schenk

February 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

26 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the tips. I can`t wait to eat crawfish again.
    This si perfect


    May 5, 2010 at 7:36 am

  2. The shells do give stocks and sauces a big head start. I use shrimp shells to make the both used for my Paella.
    Love your site, Ed!

    Debi (Table Talk)

    February 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    • Thanks for visiting. I’m glad to see you using the shells. If you ever get a chance try fresh shrimp with the heads on. They are a little hard to find but worth it!

      Ed Schenk

      February 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm

  3. Ok… I am so with you on that one. I love crawfish and making a bisque out of it, is plainfully divine. I took always keep on my shells to create a fantastic powerful powder. What I usually do is first cook my shellfish, then peel it, spread on a oven safe dish. Bake it for about 20 minutes to dry them up, them grind them. Amazing! Also I am a fan of buying all fish and shellfish with heads. That is where the best taste is at. If you go to Asian markets you will always find everything with the heads on! Awesome blog. Already subscribed myself to it. Looking forward to reading more of your culinary experiences. Ahhhh check out I think you will love that group of food enthusiasts we have over there! I know they will love you there!


    February 9, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    • You approach is right on!Too many people waste all that flavor.

      Ed Schenk

      February 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  4. These babies look soooo flavorful! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yours is great, I’ll definitely be back around here 😀

    French Cooking for Dummies

    February 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

  5. Wish I could get some crawfish! We don’t get it in my supermarket very often but I get it everytime I see it!


    February 9, 2010 at 7:41 am

    • I know there are Crawfish farms in Virginia. You just have to google around.

      Ed Schenk

      February 9, 2010 at 7:48 am

  6. Hey Ed,

    Funny that your post about crawfish came up. I’ve been looking for some fresh crawfish here on the West coast. Still haven’t found any of course. I’m hoping I will though!


    February 9, 2010 at 5:50 am

  7. I feel silly to say I’ve never thought to use crayfish shells to make a stock. I bet this would be extremely flavorful! I will have to try it soon. Thanks for the idea!

    CuriousEats - Lissa

    February 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  8. i not-so-fondly remember wading through our creek as a child and having the crawfish pinch my feet. i learned soon enough that it was best to wear water shoes. to pay the suckers back, i now eat them every chance i get. 🙂


    February 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm

  9. Sure would love to swap guest posts whats your email mine is Rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com,


    February 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

  10. I just wish they wouldn’t stare like that 😉


    February 7, 2010 at 11:24 am

  11. Thank you for visiting my site Ed. You have a wonderful site too! Will be visiting again, come back soon!


    February 7, 2010 at 6:45 am

  12. Hi Ed,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, I headed over your way and love what you’ve got going on, I’m learning all kinds of new things about Detroit. I look forward to reading about what you’ve got cooking next!



    February 7, 2010 at 2:05 am

  13. Crawfish is something that I can’t even find here where I live. I wish I could, because I’d love to try it!


    February 7, 2010 at 12:42 am

    • I am not exactly sure where that is but crawfish can be found in rivers and streams in just about every part of the country and not just in Louisiana. You could,of course have them shipped to you but if you googled you might get some info on local sources.

      Ed Schenk

      February 7, 2010 at 12:54 am

  14. oh wow I bet it was wonderful and the adopt a blogger will be great for sure


    February 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm

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