Boiled Crawfish by the Sack
Yield - 35 - 45 Pounds plus Side Dishes for about 10 people
5 LEMONS (cut in half)
5 ONIONS (Cut in half, skin on)
1 WHOLE STALK CELERY (Cut about 3 inch lengths)
6 - 10 WHOLE GARLIC PODS
2 LBS CREAMER RED POTATOES (See Chef's Notes below)
3 CUPS ZATARAIN'S DRY CRAB BOIL (it comes in a 63 oz plastic jar)
3 CUPS ZATARAIN'S PRO BOIL (it to is sold in a 63 oz plastic jar)
35 - 45 LBS CRAWFISH (by the sack) (See
Chef's Notes below)
10 HOT DOGS (Frozen)
12 CORN COBBETTES (Frozen)
8 OZ FRESH MUSHROOMS
2 CUPS ZATARAIN'S CONCENTRATED LIQUID SHRIMP & CRAB BOIL
Use a propane jet burner and a 120 quart stock pot. Fill the pot about half way with water; add all seasonings, garlic and potatoes cover. Light burner and over very high heat bring water to a rolling boil, continue to boil for about 15 minutes. Check potatoes for doneness, potato centers should be slightly under cooked. Lower heat and use a large slotted ladle or net to remove potatoes, store in a small ice chest (without ice!!) or other insulated container for service later.
Return jet burner to very high heat and add live crawfish. Return the pot to a boil. The crawfish will start to float, this is an indication of doneness. Check crawfish when the water returns to a low boil by removing several and peel. Crawfish should be easy to peel (but heads will have little flavor). TURN OFF HEAT when done...
Add hot dogs, corn cobbettes (still in the frozen state), mushrooms and liquid crab boil, cool. Use a paddle or net to stir crawfish, this will also help to cool the crawfish quickly, IF desired, use a hose to water down and cool the outside of the pot. The crawfish will start to absorb the seasonings and sink.
Allow crawfish to soak for 15 minutes. Test the crawfish for flavor, peel and eat several, not just one. Add more liquid Zatarain's if desired, allow crawfish to soak for a TOTAL of about 30 minutes. Crawfish are done when they have sunk below the water line. Remove crawfish, seasonings, and vegetables with a net or basket...Serve with the reserved potatoes.
There are several other veggies, that can be boiled in with the crawfish.. I have done artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower. The artichokes are boiled and removed along with the potatoes. While other veggies need only be poached at the end of the boil.
After removing the crawfish, I have used the seasoned water to boil eggs (see recipe), smoked sausage and even briskets!
Red "Creamer" potatoes are the smallest available, usually about 1 -1/2 inches in diameter.
While the seasoned water is coming to a boil; check the crawfish for mud, sticks and other debris. If needed, use a hose and wash down crawfish.. Years ago, crawfish were harvested in ditches and the swamps.. BUT, today most crawfish come from farmed ponds, and are much cleaner. So I find that it is not required to "purge" the crawfish. Just hose them with cold water while still in the sack...
I use the Zatarain's liquid crab boil at the end of the cooking process. I find the flavors of the liquid seasoning tend to loose their punch when boiled. So I use this seasoning after turning off the heat.
If you are boiling a second batch, add an additional 1/4 of Zatarain's seasonings to the second batch to replace those that were absorbed in the first run. Most backyard chefs will tell you that they like the second batch the best!
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
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Revised: January 27, 2018.