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Cooter (Turtle) Stew



* Substitute dark-meat chicken, catfish, veal, or all three.


  1. Cover meat with water and parboil on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Set aside to cool and then trim to small chunks. Skim fat from broth and set aside.
  3. Heat oil to just short of smoking. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes to make a dark roux.
  4. Add big onions, garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  5. Add 4 cups of reserved broth and meat and cook 30 minutes on medium-high.
  6. Add celery, spring onions, seasonings, bay leaves, sherry and molasses or brown sugar and cook 30 minutes. Add water to thin stew, if needed.
  7. Add chopped eggs and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Add potatoes and cook 20 to 30 minutes longer, until potatoes are tender.
  9. Taste and add seasoned salt and pepper.
  10. Sprinkle bacon over top. Remove bay leaves.
  11. Serve in large bowls with a salad on the side and hot bread, preferably corn bread made in a black iron skillet.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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