A Summer Crawfish Boil at Fox Country Farmhouse
There is nothing more delightfully southern than the opportunity to entertain outdoors. Earlier this summer, we escaped to White's Mercantile's Fox Country Farmhouse—a complete respite just a stone's throw from Nashville—for a laidback crawfish boil.
We're always looking for good ways to entertain around here—the best ways to create spaces where people feel comfortable and welcome. And while crawfish boils certainly aren't delicate or beautiful endeavors, they invite people to let down their guard, get their hands dirty, and enjoy each other—and that's what matters.
So set aside your freshly pressed linens for a second, turn up the Creedence Clearwater Revival, and channel your inner Louisiana. See below for our Fox Country Farmhouse Boil recipe and our favorite local Tennessee brews to wash it all down.
Farmhouse Crawfish Boil
Boil newbie? The beauty of a crawfish boil is its simplicity. If you don't know where to begin, here's a few basics to get you started:
How much does a boil cost? If you're starting from scratch (no pot, no burner) and have to have the crawfish flown in, a fair estimate is $250-$350 all in. Naturally this will fluctuate depending on the number of people you're hosting, where you purchase your ingredients, etc.
Where do I buy the crawfish? There are many vendors that will ship live crawfish, overnight, for a reasonable price. We got ours from Louisiana Crawfish Co.
When can I host a boil? Crawfish season can last from November to July, but the most reliable months—and the time you'll find the best crawfish—are in the springtime and early summer, from late February through May.
How much should I serve? A safe bet is to assume the average guest will put away 3-5 pounds of crawfish. First timers will err on the lighter side (2-3 pounds) while veterans will be on the higher side (4-5).
How long does it take to prepare? It can all be done in about an hour, with prep.
100 - 120 quart stock pot with boil basket
Double jet burner
Large wire mesh ladle
Heat resistent gloves
Large wooden stirring ladle
1-2 large coolers
(10) 3 ounce bags Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil
(1) 4 ounce bottle liquid Zatarain's Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil
(1) 4 lb jar powdered Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil
7 ounces salt (Coarse Kosher Salt)
(10) Large bay leaves
(5) large onions quartered
(8) lemons (halved)
(6) heads of garlic cut in half horizontally
(5) lbs small red potatoes (Whole)
(4), 8 ounce boxes of fresh mushrooms
(40-60) pounds of live crawfish ("select" size)
Desired amount of frozen corn on the cob, halved (usually 2 pieces per person)
(3) Pounds andouille sausage from Bare Bones Butcher
Cayenne pepper to taste
Rinse potatoes and mushrooms.
Cut garlic and lemons in half horizontally.
Cut sausage into bite size pieces.
Husk and half corn.
In a large cooler, rinse crawfish several times until the water runs clear.
Fill 100-120 quart stock pot about 60% of the way with cold, fresh water and turn burner on high..
Add the Zatarain's concentrated shrimp and crab boil bottle and seasoning bags, kosher salt, cayenne and bay leaves.
Squeeze lemons into the pot and add the halved lemons as well.
Add onions, garlic to pot and bring to a boil.
Add potatoes and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
Add crawfish and bring pot back to a boil.
Once the pot comes back to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add the corn. Soak everything up to 20-25 minutes, tasting in 5 minute intervals for desired amount of spice and meat tenderness. We also like to cool the water by adding some ice to speed the cooling process.
Remove the crawfish and veggies from the pot into a large cooler. Sprinkle the Zatazain's powdered spices over each layer of the crawfish as you pour.
Add the sliced sausage into the pot with the spices and allow to heat up and absorb the flavor for 10 min or until warm.
Pour everything out onto a large table and don't forget to pinch the tails.
To polish it all off, add a cooler of your favorite local Tennessee beers. Our picks?
Homestyle IPA from Bearded Iris Brewing
Chicken Scratch American Pilsner from Little Harpeth Brewing
TN Times Pilsner from Blackberry Farms Brewing
Belay On Blonde Ale from Hutton & Smith Brewing Company
German Pils from Smith and Lentz
All photos by Nicola Harger. Location: Fox Country Farmhouse by White's Room & Board.