Let’s Talk: Cajun Culture, Food and Recipes with Duane Donner

South Louisiana native Duane Donner gives us an inside look into all things Cajun, from the culture to the celebrations, to foods, recipes, and more. 

Cajun culture, food & recipes.

The Cajun culture is a colorful, celebratory one that embraces family, friends, and tradition. Duane Donnor shares where the Cajun culture originated, how it is set apart from other cultures, and foods and recipes specific to them.

Who is Duane Donner?

Duane Donnor is the Founder and CEO of Founders Advisors. His family has Cajun roots, and Duane holds fast to his Cajun heritage and traditions today. He is famous for throwing some of the best crawfish boils ever, and his Cajun cooking is second to none. 

A few topics covered in the podcast.

  • What does it mean to be Cajun?
  • What is a turducken?
  • Crawfish boil 101.
  • How to make a roux.
  • How are Cajun and Creole different?
  • Cajun dialect and accent.

Duane shares some favorite recipes.

Duane shares several of his favorite recipes which can be found on Family Savvy. 

Duane Donnor Cajun cooking


Resources related to this podcast.

Duane’s favorite grocery store sausage: Savoie’s Hickory Smoked Andouille

Duane’s favorite prepared roux: Savoie’s dark roux 

Duane Donnor~Founders Advisors

Some of Duane Donner’s favorite Cajun recipes.

Duane Donnor Cajun cooking

Chicken Sauce Piquante

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 hours 4 seconds
Total Time: 6 hours 4 seconds

Chicken piquant is one of Duane's favorite Cajun dishes.


  • 5-6 lb hen cut into parts*
  • Onion -  4 medium/large diced 
  • Bell pepper – 1 small/medium diced 
  • Celery – 5 ribs diced 
  • Garlic – 5 cloves diced 
  • Roux – 1 cup of dark brown roux 
  • Lemon – 1 large sliced – squeeze and put entire lemon in sauce (including skin) 
  • Tomato Paste – 1-12 oz can(2 small or 1 large) of Contadina Brand if possible 
  • Tomato Sauce – 1-12 oz can of Contadina Brand if possible 
  • Mushrooms Stems & Pieces – 1-12 oz can – drain juice 
  • Green Olives – 1-16oz bottle of medium to large green olives with pitts – drain juice 
  • Taylor Cream Sherry – ½ cup 
  • Green Onions – chopped to add at the end


      1. Season thighs with Cajun seasoning and brown in vegetable or olive oil in large brazing pot (dutch oven or heavy roasting pot) 
      2. Once the meat is brown on all sides, remove from pot and add vegetables (Onion, Bellpepper, Celery, Garlic) 
      3. Saute vegetables in oil and drippings from meat until they get tender and brown.
      4. Add water and deglaze the bottom of the pot – scrape until all brown bits from the meat are removed. Add several cups of water until the pot is over 1/3 full. The mixture will look like brown broth. 
      5. In a separate pot make a dark roux using vegetable oil and flour – approximately 1 cup (I usually make a little more just in case I need more) 
      6. Add 1 cup of brown roux to vegetable broth mixture and stir in until the mixture is a little soupier than gumbo 
      7. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, mushrooms, olives, lemon….Make sure the mixture is not too thick, need to add water until the mixture is soupy b/c the water will cook out 
      8. Cook mixture together for approximately 1 hour on low-medium heat – slow boil…Continue to stir so it does not stick and burn *(See note)
      9. At this point you can add the meat back to the pot and continue cooking on low heat (I think it is better to let the sauce sit overnight in the refrigerator.   
      10. Add seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, etc) to taste (I personally don’t add much more seasoning than what I initially put on the meat to brown). 
      11. The mixture should thicken up as water cooks out but you don’t want the sauce to get too thick…..It should have a thick soup consistency 
      12. 15 minutes before you serve, stir in ½ cup of Cream Sherry.
      13. Add diced green onions right before serving. 
      14. Serve over rice or spaghetti pasta….I prefer pasta 
      15. Serve with Garlic Bread and salad. 


*Make sure to get a hen, not a chicken or roaster.

Note:  I normally add the meat back after cooking the sauce about 45 minutes and then let it come back to a boil then I typically refrigerate and cook the next day for about 1-2 hours on low heat or until meat is tender. 

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 579Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 203mgSodium 792mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 6gSugar 27gProtein 42g

Duane Donner's Crawfish Étouffée


  • 1-2 lbs of peeled crawfish tails (preferably Louisiana tail meat not Chinese)
  • 1 quart of crawfish stock (you cannot buy this, you have to make it using crawfish shells) you can substitute water or chicken stock).
  • 1 large onion chopped 
  • ½ large bell pepper chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2-3 sticks of margarine or butter
  • regular white flower


    1. Melt 1 stick of butter in a skillet (cast-iron is best)
    2. When butter.melts, pour crawfish tail meat (1-2 lbs) in a pot and lightly sauté them in butter.
    3. Remove Lightly sautéed crawfish from pot and place to side.
    4. Sautee vegetables (chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic) in butter until tender; remove from skillet and set aside.
      Make Roux
    5. Add enough butter or vegetable oil to the pan to barely cover the bottom surface; gradually add flour until the consistency looks right (oily paste that is easy to move around pot without clumping).  
    6. Cook on high heat constantly stirring until turns to light to medium brown color.
    7. Once the roux is brown, slowly add crawfish stock or water until you have a thick soupy mixture, like a stew.
    8. Add back sauteed vegetables and let mixture cook together on low – medium fire for 15-30 minutes until consistent and well blended.
    9. Add sauteed crawfish, and season to taste using salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper for heat.
    10. Add green onions and parsley and serve over hot cooked rice.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 530Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 6gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 272mgSodium 173mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 39g


smoked duck andouille gumbo

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  1. Lou, I am glad you enjoyed it!!! Duane is going to come back on to expound upon his recipes……especially the sauce piquante. Stay tuned!!!!!! Thanks for being a listener!!!!

  2. Thank you, Jamie and Duane, for a very informative and thoroughly enjoyable podcast! I plan to try some of Duane’s recipes, but in the meantime I am playing some zydeco music!

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