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A New Orleans Style Seafood Boil With Shrimp, Clams, Mussels and Lobster

I wanted to make something different to end the summer and decided on a Seafood Boil. I read dozens of recipes but nothing sounded great–they all seemed pretty bland. Since I knew I wanted mine to have lots of flavor I called Jake. After all, he lived in New Orleans for four years, loves to cook and had a crawfish boil in May, so if anyone could give me advice on how to make it come alive with flavor, he could. And did he ever.

First of all, you need a REALLY BIG pot.

I used this one and it all just barely fit. 

Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you–you just sort of throw them all in and it’s easy.


  • 1-2 sticks butter, divided
  • 2 lemons, halved, plus more for serving
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 bottle chardonnay
  • 1/4-1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 4-6 quarts water
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white part only, well cleaned
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • Emeril original seasoning
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • lemon pepper
  • a handful of pepper corns
  • a handful of fresh thyme, tied together
  • 2 serrano chiles, cut in half
  • 1 head garlic, halved, skin on
  • 3 bay leaves
THE REST OF THE BOIL–or use your favorites
  • corn on the cob, cut into thirds
  • red potatoes, quartered if large
  • about 2 lbs. (pre-cooked) smoked sausage cut into 2″ pieces
  • 2 dozen Manila clams
  • 3 dozen shrimp, skin on
  • lobster tails (optional) cut in half
  • 2 lbs. mussels

I cut the corn into thirds.

Rinsed the potatoes and was able to find peppers and lemons in the garden. 

 Here are a lot of the spices that I used.

Melt a stick of butter over medium heat in a really tall pot.

When the butter has melted, add the leeks, celery and peppers. 

Start to season. I just kept adding and adding. This will all be strained out before the seafood goes in so it needs to be really well seasoned. 

When the vegetables are soft, add the bottle of chardonnay and deglaze. Cook for 5 minutes on medium low.

Add the bay leaves, thyme, lemons and oranges. Stir and continue to cook over low heat. 

Add the chicken stock, clam juice, water and continue to simmer and add additional seasoning from the list above. Just keep tasting. This is when you add the second stick of butter if you think it needs a little something. Butter is a magic ingredient. Cover with a lid and simmer on low for at least an hour so all the flavors absorb. 

It’s important to strain the stock. I used my large mesh strainer to scoop out all the cooked down veggies–and it made more room for the seafood. 

The pot should be only about half filled with liquid so everything will fit. 

Put the potatoes in first. Let them simmer for 15 minutes. Next add the corn and sausage. Cook 5 minutes with the lid on the pot. Make sure there’s enough liquid to cover everything. 

Add the lobster tails (if you’re using them). Cook 5 minutes. Add clams and mussels. Cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp. Bring back to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer and cook until shrimp are done–about 5 more minutes. 

Ladle into a large bowl–you’ll need a couple of these. It makes a lot. But you can cut back on the portions.

Serve with an arugula salad tossed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and fresh Parmesan. 

And warm crusty bread and butter.

Make it easy on yourself and cover the table with newspaper. Hand out lobster bibs, a lot of paper towels and unscented wipes for easy clean up. 

But most of all, have a fun time eating.

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