Chef John Folse: Catfish Courtbouillon

Folse Catfish Courtbouillon

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - This is a great recipe given to Chef John Folse by a good friend. What makes this recipe so interesting is the simple procedure used in cooking the dish and just how versatile it is using numerous varieties of fish and shellfish. Try it. You'll be stunned by the great flavor.

Prep Time: 2½ Hours

Yields: 8–10 Servings


12 (5–7 ounce) catfish fillets

24 (21–25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ pound butter

2½ cups diced onions

2 cups diced celery

1 cup diced red bell peppers

¼ cup minced garlic

2 (10-ounce) cans Ro*tel®

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

2 tbsps paprika

6 tbsps flour

1 cup sliced green onions

¼ cup minced parsley

½ cup hot water


In a 12-inch, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic then sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring occasionally. Add Ro*tel® and cook 3–5 additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a 6-quart black iron pot, add ? of sautéed vegetable mixture then top with 4 catfish fillets and 8 shrimp. Season to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Sprinkle in paprika and flour then add ? of green onions and parsley. Continue layering and seasoning until all seafood and seasonings are used. The top layer of catfish should have a good covering of green onions and parsley. Carefully pour in ½ cup hot water along side of the pot to add moisture to bottom. Place pot over low heat and cover tightly. Cook 1 hour, do not uncover during this process. The steams created inside the pot will incorporate natural juices from the fish into the seasonings. After 1 hour, remove lid and using a rubber spatula, gently separate ingredients from sides of pot. Do not stir. This ensures even liquid distribution in pot. Re-cover and cook 1 additional hour. The courtbouillon should have a slightly rusty color due to the paprika and a stew-like consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic and serve over rice or pasta.

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