3 tablespoons bacon fat or canola oil
1 1/2 cups minced onions
1 cup minced celery
3/4 cup minced green bell pepper
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2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon mild paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or as needed
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
Salt as needed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fish or chicken broth or as needed
1 1/4 pound crawfish tail meat with fat
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green portions
1/4 cup basil chiffonade (cut into fine threads)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat the bacon fat or oil in a casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers.
Add the onion and saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cover the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika, white and black pepper, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; saute, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and pasty, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and stir well to work out any lumps. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the crawfish tails and their fat. Cover the pot and cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, until the crawfish is cooked through and very hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Add a little more broth as needed throughout the cooking time if the etouffee is getting too thick. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Add the butter, scallions, basil, and parsley and stir to combine. Serve the etouffee in heated bowls.