One of the best parts of a crawfish boil is the day after – that’s when MawMaw would make crawfish bisque from the leftovers. It is a labor-intensive process the way MawMaw did it. It will take an entire day to prepare everything, but I divide the labor into two days. I’ll mention optional steps if you want to shorten the process.
Today I’ll show you day one of the process – the prep work.
This is the crawfish we had left over after a crawfish boil. I estimate this to be 12-15 pounds.
Let’s prepare to peel the crawfish. (Click here if you need instructions.) You will need two large containers – one for the shells, and one for the tails.
Next, I’ve separated the larger heads from the smaller heads and bodies. I have collected 60 larger heads in which I am going to stuff the crawfish dressing.
Optional Step: I’ll use the smaller heads and bodies to make a crawfish stock. To do that, I dump the shells into a large pot (depends on how many shells you have, for these I will use a 12-qt. pot), fill the pot with water (enough to exceed the shells by twice) and boil until the water is reduced by half. My 12 quarts of water will yield 6 quarts of stock. Just use water if you can’t expend this much time and energy on making a stock.
Now it’s time to clean out the heads to make room for the crawfish dressing.
Believe it or not, this is also an optional step. You can just roll the dressing into balls instead of stuffing shells. However, it is my opinion that crawfish bisque loses a lot of flavor without the shells. What’s the point of crawfish bisque without stuffed shells?!
Tomorrow we’ll make the bisque and stuff the shells – the fun part. Stay tuned!