Crawfish étouffée for Lent: See the easy recipe from Eunice Restaurant

HOUSTON – Drake Leonards, Executive chef at Eunice Restaurant, in Houston is heating things up in the kitchen with a real Cajun staple to get you through meatless Fridays during lent.

He’s dishing on his secrets to make a great bowl of crawfish étouffée, a Louisiana classic he serves at his restaurant.

Chef Drake Leonards Derrick Shor and Justin Stapleton cooking on Houston Life (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

For his complete interview and tips, watch the video above.

To see the complete recipe, continue reading below.

Crawfish étouffée

Eunice_Crawfish Etouffee (Duc Hoang)


1 pound gumbo crabs

½ cup olive oil

1 pound crawfish

1 onion, large dice

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery rib, diced

½ cup tomato paste

1 pound shrimp

4 sprigs thyme

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 bay leaves


Smash crab bodies. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add whole crawfish, crab bodies, onion, carrot, and celery. Brown ingredients well. Deglaze with water if gets too dark and sticky. Add tomato paste and the remaining ingredients, including shrimp. Cover with water. Simmer for 1 hour. Strain using a fine sieve.

Tip: You will have enough stock for the recipe; freeze the remaining for later use.)


1 pound butter

1 onion, small dice

1 rib celery, small dice

5 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ green bell pepper, small dice

½ jalapeño, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Tabasco to taste

½ teaspoon cayenne or crushed red chili flakes

2.5 cups shellfish stock

1½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds Louisiana crawfish tails

1 bunch of scallions, sliced

½ bunch of parsley, chopped


Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic and sweat until soft. Add flour and stir, making a blond roux. Add bell pepper, jalapeño, thyme, Tabasco, cayenne, or chili flakes, and stock and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add crawfish and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until crawfish are warmed through. Turn off the heat and finish with sliced scallions and parsley.

Serve in warm bowls with white rice.

To connect with Eunice, click here.

About the Author

Beatriz is a producer for Houston life. She’s a dog mom who enjoys traveling and eating her way through new cities and cultures.

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