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Crawfish season in the South is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Crawfish boils bring people together, and everyone has their own “right” way of doing things. Bourbon & Boots resident chef, Matthew Bell offers a few of his quick tips on how to clean and cook crawfish, as well as a step-by-step tutorial for the uninitiated on how to crack and eat mudbugs.
1. Empty live crawfish into a large tub or sink filled with cold, salted water.
2. Fill up a second sink or tub with cold, salted water as well. Transfer the crawfish back and forth, changing the water out each time, until the water is clear. Use a strainer with a handle so you don’t get pinched.
3. While rinsing the crawfish cull out any dead ones you may find.
4. Make sure crawfish are the last thing you add to your boil (after the corn, sausage and potatoes) before taking it all off the heat.
5. To peel the boiled crawfish, first twist to remove the head, then lift up the center fin on the tail to “clean” it before you shuck it. (See video for complete instructions on how to properly peel and eat crawfish.)
6. Keep many rolls of paper towels handy.
Here are some pics from the Bourbon & Boots Crawfish Boil earlier this year with Chef Matthew Bell…
If you are cooking for a large group we recommend a 30-quart turkey fryer. You can pick one up at your local hardware store.
Rinse, rinse, rinse the crawfish in salt water. Throw out the dead ones and make sure they don’t pinch the hell out of you.
Before you toss in the crawfish, boil the andouille sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes.
Slice some lemons and serve it up! Guests will show satisfaction in the form of finger-licking and fist-pumps.