Savannah River Catfish Stew

(from saymyname’s recipe box)

Source: In 'Bon Appetit Ya'll' by Virginia Willis

Serves 6 people

Categories: Fish, Main Dish, Stew


  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon , cut into lardons (or 2 T. canola oil)
  • 1 onion , chopped (preferably Vidalia)
  • 2 large russet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf , preferably fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs catfish fillets , cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • coarse salt
  • fresh ground black pepper


  1. Line a plate with paper towels; in a saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; using slotted spoon, remove the bacon to prepared plate to drain.

  2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.

  3. Add in onion and potatoes to saucepan; cook/stir often, until golden, 5-7 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat and combine.

  5. Stir in the water and milk; add the thyme, bay leaf, and cajun seasoning; bring to a boil over high heat.

  6. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

  7. Add in the catfish; simmer, uncovered, until the fish is falling apart, an additional 15-20 minutes.

  8. Remove the thyme and bay leaf; discard.

  9. Add in the parsley; stir to combine.

  10. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning.

  11. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with reserved bacon.

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