Creole Turtle Étouffée

 

Recipe and Photo By Carolyn Davidson Hicks!

Recipe and Photo By Carolyn Davidson Hicks!

Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 3 quarts)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds turtle meat, cleaned and finely chopped
4 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (about 1 cup)
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup diced celery
3 quarts of chicken stock
1/2 cup dark brown (the color of chocolate) roux
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Creole Spice (more to taste)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon or dry sherry (or more according to personal taste) for deglazing!

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the turtle with salt and black pepper. Add the meat and brown evenly, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the meat to a platter. Cover lightly and set aside.

Deglaze with wine.  Add all vegetables to the same pan and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are al dente, about 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the bay leaves and the garlic and the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Carefully whisk in the roux and return to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add the lemon zest and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Longer for a slow cooker! 4 to 6 hours!

Garnish with chopped green onions or torn parsley leaves!

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