1/2 cup fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup self-rising flour
2 tablespoons crab base**
2 quarts heavy cream
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
2 cups half-and-half
1 quart milk
2 pounds crabmeat, picked clean of shells
salt and pepper
**If you can’t find crab base, you can substitute a seafood bouillon (shrimp or lobster) or seafood base.
In a food processor, finely chop the fennel, celery, and onion. Melt the butter on medium-high heat in a large heavy saucepan. Add the vegetables and saute until soft. Stir in the flour until it is all absorbed and no lumps remain. Continue to stir and cook the mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, until it spreads out and becomes bubbly.
Stir in the crab base, heavy cream, sherry, half-and-half, and milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Allow the stew to thicken for no more than 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Gently stir in the crab meat and season to taste.
Recipe Courtesy of Uncle Bubba's Oyster House