Makes 6 to 8 servings. Recipe is from Helana Brigman.
4 tbls. salted butter
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
2 carrots, stemmed, peeled and chopped fine
2 celery ribs, ends removed and chopped fine
1 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
1 to 2 lbs. crab, crawfish or lobster shells
Water, to cover
2 to 3 thyme sprigs
6 parsley stems
2 to 3 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbl. whole peppercorns
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 2 lbs. cooked seafood (crab, crawfish or lobster), chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1. In the bottom of a heavy stock pan, melt butter over medium-low heat and add the mirepoix — onion, carrots and celery. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have started to become translucent.
2. Add leftover seafood heads, tails and claws. Add wine and herbs and bring to a simmer. Add enough water to cover ingredients. Cover pot and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes over low heat.
3. At 45 minutes, skim stock and taste. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper to taste, cover and simmer for an addition 15 minutes. When stock has reached desired thickness and flavor, remove from heat and strain. (I use a strainer lined with cheese cloth.) Cool, store and refrigerate. Stock can be used immediately or frozen. If freezing, leave enough room for stock to expand in container.
4. To make bisque, bring stock to a simmer over medium heat and stir in cooked seafood. Warm for 3 to 5 minutes and add heavy cream. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until bisque just begins to simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat and serve with crusty bread or biscuits.