Freshwater Seafood
Camp-Style Garfish Courtbouillon

Garfish is the tribal symbol of the Coushatta Indians. This fish not only symbolizes sustenance and nourishment, but it also plays an important part in tribal customs. The bones are used for jewelry and costuming, while the hide is used for shoes and clothing. This prehistoric fish also symbolizes strength and survival. Cooked long and slow in a black pot, and packed with flavor, this courtbouillon is a great “camp dish”, and a sure hit for any occasion.

Prep Time: 2-1/2 Hours
Yields: 8–10 Servings

5 pounds garfish fillets
1 pound crawfish tails
1 cup minced tasso
1/4 pound butter
2-1/2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 (10-ounce) cans Ro*tel®
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
2 tbsp paprika
6 tbsp flour
1 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup hot water

In a heavy-bottomed, 12-inch sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, and minced garlic and sauté for 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add Ro*tel® and cook 3–5 additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a 6-quart black iron pot, add 1/3 of sautéed vegetable mixture then top with 1/3 of fish fillets, 1/3 cup crawfish tails, and 1/3 cup minced tasso. Season to taste using salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Sprinkle in paprika and flour then add 1/3 of green onions and parsley. Continue layering and seasoning until all seafood and seasonings are used. The top layer of fish should have a good covering of green onions and parsley. Carefully pour in 1/2 cup hot water to add moisture to the bottom. Place the 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 the lid, and using a rubber spatula, gently separate ingredients from the sides of the pot. Do not stir. This ensures even liquid distribution in the pot. Re-cover and cook for 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.