Shrimp and Catfish Fricassee

Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 6-8 Servings

A fricassee, or stew, can be made with any mixture of available ingredients. There are many combinations in Louisiana fricassees from seafood and meat to vegetables and game. In the city of Chalmette, the hunters and trappers combine blue channel catfish with river shrimp to create an incomparable fricassee.


  • 1 pound peeled river or gulf shrimp
  • 3 pounds cubed catfish
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced cayenne peppers
  • 4 bay leaves
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of basil
  • 3 quarts fish stock (see recipe)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • Louisiana hot sauce to taste

In a 2-gallon heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk constantly until dark brown roux is achieved (see roux techniques). Should black specks appear, discard and begin again. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Blend in cayenne peppers, bay leaves, thyme and basil. Stir approximately 2 cups of cubed fish into roux. Slowly add fish stock, one ladle at a time, until a rich stew consistency is achieved. Reserve remaining stock for later use. Remember, the remaining fish are 90% water and will thin the stew considerably when added. You may wish to keep the stew a little thicker until the remaining fish are added. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 30 minutes. Stir in remaining fish, shrimp, parsley and green onions and continue to cook 10-15 minutes or until fish is tender. Crack the eggs into the simmering stew and allow to poach for 10 minutes. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve over steamed rice or pasta.

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