Serves about 20
This cooking is about the layering and timing so everything is cooked perfectly and the seafood is not over cooked. You have options of the seafood. If you care using more than one type, could can cut back. You’ll need about 12 oz of meat per normal person of seafood.
12-15 lbs head on gulf shrimp
1 25 lb sack of crawfish
or 75-100 blue crabs
or a mix
4 small chickens, cut up, skin removed
or 4 rabbits, cut up
5 lb good andouille sausage, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 lb smoked slab bacon, diced large
10 lb very small potatoes
20 ears of corn, shucked and broken in half
2 onions, peeled and wedged into 8-10 pieces each
4 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch sections
8-10 cloves garlic, whole
32 ounces mild lager beer
32 ounces chicken stock, lightly salted water or canned clam broth
10 fresh bay leaves
6 springs fresh thyme
1 small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped, stems and all
4 lemons, sliced, plus more for eating time
a generous amount of a good Creole season (my CAGE is nice, or Old Bay works well too)
Have large serving platters of a newspaper lined table ready.
Also set up a few shell bowls and a few dipping bowls with a knob of butter in each.
In a heavy pot layer the bacon, chicken or rabbit, garlic, onions and potatoes.
Sprinkle with a little seasoning, a spring or two of thyme, a sprinkling of parsley and a few bay leaves. Now layer the corn, sliced lemons and sausages on top of that. Season the same way with the herbs and seasoning.
Add the beer and stock/water and cover.
Bring to a rolling boil.
After about 12-15 minutes fish out a potato and a piece of meat.
Check it for doneness. If or when they are both just cooked, dump the seafood on top of everything. Season again this time adding a little kosher salt.
Cover and let the seafood steam 5-8 minutes or until everything is just perfectly cooked.
Turn off the heat and leave covered until ready to serve.
Pour it out onto your table or large platters.
Serve with more lemon wedges, good bread.
Ladle some of the cooking liquid into buttered dipping bowls to offer on the side.