Cajun Crawfish Blog

How to Smoke a Turducken

Do you enjoy smoked turkey during the holidays?

Smoking meats is popular during the holidays and provides a different approach to family meals and can add a unique flavor that will have your family and friends’ mouths watering. Now, imagine taking it to the next level!

smoled turducken

Smoked turducken will take your already unique meal and add an even more delicious spin. Turduckens are a combination of three different popular birds, with a chicken stuffed into a duck, which is then stuffed inside of a turkey. Each layer is surrounded by either a seafood or cornbread stuffing, adding even more flavor. Add this to the smoky flavor and your holiday dinner will be talked about for years to come.

Smoking Your Turducken

The turducken will need to be cooked slowly to ensure that it cooks thoroughly and to prevent the outside from burning, so follow these instructions to smoke your turducken this year.

  1. Allow the turducken to thaw at room temperature for at least 48 – 72 hours. Ensure the turducken is completely thawed before cooking
  2. Preheat your grill to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If your grill does not include a built-in thermometer, purchase one. It is important to leave one of the burners off or to place all of the coals on one side of the grill. The turducken will need to be place over indirect heat.
  3. Place the turducken in an aluminum pan or on aluminum foil to prevent it from sticking to the grill.
  4. Soak your wood chips in water for 30 minutes and then place them in a smoker box. You can also add them directly to the charcoal, but the flavor may not be as intense.
  5. Add water to a drip pan and place it under the spot where you will place the turducken to help keep the turducken moist while it smokes. Keep ¼ inch of water in the pan at all times.
  6. Place the turducken in the aluminum pan or on the foil and then set the pan on the grill over the indirect heat. Let cook for four hours.
  7. Brush olive oil over the skin of the turducken and cover with aluminum foil. Check the temperature and add more charcoal and wood chips if needed.
  8. Keep the temperature between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. You can accomplish this by opening and closing the vents as needed.
  9. Continue to smoke for four to five hours, or until the internal temperature of the turducken reaches 165 degrees. Be sure to place the thermometer in the thickest section of the turducken.
  10.  Once internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the turducken from the heat source, slice and enjoy!

If you have any additional smoking tips, or would like to see a blog about another way to cook turduckens, be sure to leave us a comment!

The Best Crawfish Boil Recipes

crawfish boil

by Daniel Travers

 

There’s potatoes, corn on the cob, and of course crawfish, but beyond that every Cajun cook has a cherished recipe for a crawfish boil. To invite some friends over to test out different recipes, send out some crawfish boil invitations, order some crawfish and  cover the picnic table with newspapers.

 

Equipment

Remember that deep fry turkey cooker that’s lurking in the back of the kitchen closet? That is exactly what you need for a crawfish boil. The large pot with a tight fitting lid will be perfect. You will also need a wire basket insert to remove the crawfish and vegetables after they are cooked. The whole assembly sits on a propane burner. You will also need a large tub or ice chest (the one that the crawfish are shipped in is perfect), or a couple of bags of ice. A stirring paddle or long-handled spoon is useful too.

 

Ingredients

The best crawfish boil recipe starts with friends and family. The more the merrier. Add three to five pounds of fresh, live crawfish for each guest. CajunCrawfish.com ships them in 30 pound bags, which they say will serve ten people or two Cajuns. You will also need:

fresh mushrooms

4 lemons

3 lbs. Fruge’s original seafood boil

8 small onions

8 small potatoes

8 ears of corn

a head of fresh garlic

Many New Orleans cooks recommend Zataran’s crab boil, which comes in dry and  liquid forms. If you are a DIY cook, Alton Brown has a recipe for crawfish spice mix, or if you just want to make it easy… and extra delicious, use the seasoning that comes with your crawfish order (it’s cajuncrawfish.com’s special blend). If you’re a foodie and want to mix your own… grind 1 tablespoon each of whole black peppercorns and whole coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons whole cloves and 1 ½ tablespoons whole allspice in a spice grinder. Mix ground spices together with 4 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons paprika, and 1 tablespoon each of onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, dry mustard, dried dill weed, plus 6 crumbled bay leaves. Add the spice mix and 1 pound of kosher salt to 5 gallons of boiling water for the crab boil. This is enough spice to boil 10 pounds of crawfish. If using cajuncrawfish.com spice, use 1 bag per 10 lbs. of crawfish.

 

Method

Add 5 gallons of water to the pot for each 10 pounds of crawfish. When  the water boils, add half of the spice mix. Add the potatoes, corn, onions and garlic to the pot and cover. If you are adding andouille sausage, this is the time to add it, too. Let cook for ten minutes, then add the crawfish and replace the cover. Ed the Crawfish Master at the Cajun Crawfish Company says to watch for steam to escape from under the lid. When this happens, turn off the gas.

You can remove the basket from the pot and transfer the crawfish to an ice chest. Add one third of the crawfish to the chest, sprinkle with spice mix; add another third of the crawfish, sprinkle with spice mix, and then add the rest of the crawfish and sprinkle with more spices. You can also add two bags of ice to the pot instead of removing the crawfish. The ice will cool them down and they will sink to the bottom and absorb more spices.

 

Serve

No matter how you choose to spice your crawfish boil, it is served by dumping the crawfish and vegetables on a newspaper-covered table. Provide some melted butter and plenty of napkins! … melted butter is not necessary, they are delicious by themselves, but to each there own. Try them a variety of ways… always good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alligator Etouffee, the Easy Way

Ingredients
1 pound Alligator meat from cajuncrawfish.com (cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 lb Butter
1/2 cup Green Onions (chopped)
1/8 cup Parsley (chopped)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 Celery stalks (chopped)
1 can of Stewed Tomatoes
Salt, Pepper and Slap Ya Mama Seasoning (to taste)

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and celery in butter. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15-20 minutes in black iron pot (covered). Add alligator meat and allow to cook over low heat until tender (1 hour). Serve over rice. Delicious.

Easy Crawfish Recipe

crawfish tail meat recipeJust because it is easy, does not mean that it isn’t delicious!

One of the fastest, easiest crawfish recipes I know of is simply combining an onion (or two) with a touch of butter, a spoonful of garlic, seasoning to taste and a lb. of cajuncrawfish tail meat. Saute onions and garlic first. Then add tail meat and season to taste. Keep adding a little water and cook down a little to marinate the flavors. 20 minutes tops! Add your favorites in also… mushrooms, peas… whatever you like.

crawfish tail meat

crawfish tail meat straight from the bag

crawfish tail meat

Mama Dee Creole Crawfish Bisque


Sauce Ingredients

½ c chopped onion
celery
green bell pepper
¼ c chopped fresh parsley
3     garlic cloves
4     large green onions
3     bay leaves
butter or oil
3    cans tomato sauce
1    can   petite chopped tomatoes
3T  sugar
1T  chili powder
3 c  prepare knorr chicken stock or chicken bouillon cubes stock
( taste before adding to sauce)

 

Sauce Directions
Individually saute celery, green bell pepper, garlic cloves and onion in melted butter or warmed oil to desired tenderness. Important not to overcook. When cooked place aside on plate separately. Reserve 1/3 for the next preparation. In 6 quart stock pot add all of the above ingredients except reserve. Cook on medium heat,stirring until heated. Once heated, lower stove to low and stir as needed but don’t allow sauce to stick or burn. Cover and simmer 2-3 hours. Add ½ of chopped green onion and parsley to sauce 30 minutes prior to end of cooking time.Transfer pot from hot burner to cool burner. Allow to cool. Remove bay leaves. Pour cooled sauce in blender, ½ full  and blend and pause transfer to a bowl and continue until  all of s is blended to your desired texture and return to pot. Heat again on low stove setting and continue to stir. Remember don’t allow to stick or burn.

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Stuffing Ingredients
2 c deveined crawfish tail meat
½ c crawfish claw
3 c  plain or italian bread crumbs
reserved seasonings
1c  milk
3    eggs
cleaned crawfish heads
2   green onions
salt
black, red or white pepper
cooking spray oil

Stuffing directions
Heat oven 325

Clean crawfish heads by removing everything from cavity including eyes and whiskers. Don’t rinse.

Chop crawfish tail meat and place in large mixing bowl. Refrigerate while preparing the remaining ingredients.  Beat eggs and add milk until well mixed.   Add bread crumbs, reserved seasoning, pepper, salt and mix while gradually adding egg and milk until well mixed. Add chopped crawfish tails and continue mixing until well mixed. If not the consistency you desire add more milk, bread crumbs, or chopped crawfish tails. Stuff crawfish heads with mixture.

Spray cooking oil on cookie sheet and place stuffed crawfish on cookie sheet. Bake 18 minutes.

After removing  stuffed crawfish heads from oven, slowly add to sauce using a cooking spatula and add crawfish claws to sauce. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve with white or saffron rice, french bread and garnish with chopped green onions.

Brown Rice With Sizzling Chicken and Vegetables

Brown Rice Sizzling Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe from USA Rice Federation

Ingredients

3 cups hot cooked brown rice
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup water
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cornstarch
1½ tbsp canola or corn oil
1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, cut into small wedges (about 1/8-inch thick wedges)
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally (1 cup total)
1½ cup small broccoli florets
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preparation

Mix soy sauce, water, honey, and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Add minced garlic; sauté about one minute until garlic is golden. Add chicken; cook about 5-6 minutes, then push chicken to the side. Add onions to center of skillet; cook until slightly tender and push to the side. Continue with carrots, broccoli, and peppers separately, placing each in the center of pan, cooking until slightly tender and pushing to the side. Pour soy sauce mixture into center of skillet. Leaving other ingredients at the sides of the pan, stir sauce until it thickens. Mix in with vegetables and chicken. Serve immediately over cooked brown rice.

Potato, Corn and Crawfish Soup

Potato, corn and crawfish soup

 

 

This weekend we cooked some “Cooked Crawfish”. We boiled our potatoes and corn just like we would do for cooking live crawfish, then we followed the directions for cooked crawfish. Though not as good as live fresh crawfish, “cooked crawfish” are a great substitute for the live when they are out of season. They were truly delicious. As usual, we cooked a lot extra for making other dishes. Once they cooled off, we left them in the ice chest and put a sack of ice on top (leaving the leftovers to peel till the next day).

I took the leftover seasoned potatoes and cut them up. I then put them in a big pot on the stovetop. I filled water to the top and turned on high to boil down. You can also add a little milk or cream, but not necessary. Continue adding water in pot till the potatoes are to the soup consistency that you like (I probably cooked it down for about 3-4 hours. I cut the corn off the cob and threw that in. Depending on how seasoned your potatoes were, you may need to add a little seasoning. While boiling down the potatoes, I put on a good movie, and peel the leftover crawfish (I sneak quite a bit since cold crawfish are really good also). Once the potatoes are the soup consistency that you like, throw in the crawfish tailmeat and you are ready to eat. It is so good!

Recipe: Crawfish, Mango & Rice Salad

Crawfish, mango & rice salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salad Ingredients
2.5 cups of yellow rice
1 lb. of cajuncrawfish.com tail meat
1 sm. cucumber (peeled and diced into small cubes)
2 mangos, (peeled and diced into small cubes, and not too ripe)
3 tbsp of nuts (roasted cashew nuts)
1 carrot (sliced in slivers)
Mesclun or butter lettuce (torn in pieces)

Dressing
1 tsp sunflower oil
2 tsp coconut cream
2 sm. limes (juice)
1 tsp chilli oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar

Directions
Cook yellow rice as you would a reg. pot of rice.
Mix dressing ingredients together, making sure that the sugar is all dissolved.
MIx salad ingredients all together (cajuncrawfish tail meat is already cooked).
Add dressing to salad.

 

 

Recipe: Fish Soup

Fish soup

Ingredients

1-1/2 lb. fish fillets (cajuncrawfish red snapper would be the best), cut into 2-in. pieces
1 lb. of cajuncrawfish tail meat
8 oz. clam juice
1 cup onions, chopped
2 lrg. garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh tomato, chopped
2 tsps. tomato paste
6 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
Dry Oregano
Tabasco
thyme
pepper
salt

**You can add shrimp or any other kind of seafood to this soup also.

Directions
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic. Saute 3 or 4 minutes. Add parsley and stir a couple more minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for another 10 minutes. Add clam juice, wine and fish. Simmer until fish is cooked through (5-10 minutes). Add in tail meat. Add in seasoning to taste.

Recipe: Crawfish (Seafood) Paella

Seafood Paella

 

1 lb. cajuncrawfish tail meat
1 lb. large raw shrimp (peeled & deveined)
1-1/2 lbs small live clams
1 lb. squid (cleaned and cut into rings)
2-1/2 lbs. chicken parts
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 med. onion (finely diced)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 lrg. red bell pepper (roasted, peeled, seeded & diced)
1/2 cup green onion
1 cup peas (can be frozen)
1/2 tsp safron thread

Chop chicken into pieces. Combine oil, onion, and garlic in a large skillet. When the onion begins to sizzle, increase heat to 5 or 6. Add the chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Add a little salt, paper and paprika as they cook. When all chicken has been browned, add in the squid, peppers, green onion and the remaining salt. Crumble in the saffron. Stir in the rice, cooking for a mint or so to coat it with the oil. Add in warm stock to within an inch of top (you may have left over stock depending on size of pot). Add in remaining seafood. Cook on simmer until the rice is tender (about 20 minutes). Sprinkle the peas in about halfway through cooking. The paella may seem a little soupy when it first comes off the fire, but the rice will absorb the excess liquid.