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Catfish Stew

Source: Soul and Spice
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 5 Minutes
  Serves 6-8
If the catch wasn't as big as you hoped for all the mouths you want to feed, making a stew is the best way to stretch a small amount of meat or fish. Catfish stew is so good however, it's worth making no matter how much fish you have.
For  Stock:
1 whole catfish, 2-3 pounds, cleaned
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 fresh parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 bay leaf
5 cups water

2 ounces slab bacon, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley
To make this stock, fillet and skin the catfish. Cut the fillets into 1-inch pieces and reserve in the refrigerator. Place the head, tail, and bones of the fish and the peppercorns on a piece of cheesecloth and tie securely to make a bundle. Place in a saucepan. Add the celery, onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth package and discard. Reserve the stock in the pan.

If using the bacon, in a skillet over medium heat, fry until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Pour off the fat. In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook slowly, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and cook 1 minute. Stir in a little of the reserved stock and stir well. Add salt to taste and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are done, about 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and reserved catfish and simmer until the fish is cooked, another 5 or 6 minutes.

Adjust the seasonings and serve topped with chopped parsley.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 6-8
Calories: 222
Fat. Total: 7g
Fiber: 2g
Carbohydrates, Total: 17g
Sodium: 77mg
% Cal. from Fat: 28%
Cholesterol: 68mg
Protein: 21g
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