Growing up California, Dungeness crab season has always been a favorite time of year. It is its own season. And having lived here my whole life, I know how crab is cooked. Its steamed. While it is yummy in simple foods like tacos, and disappears in casserole type dishes, the best way to eat crab is to just get your fingers messy picking apart a steamed crab. A little bread, some clarified butter for dipping, and a nice glass of wine.
In recent years, more and more restaurant reviews boast of delectable roasted crab. Some are spicy, others garlicky, and others including with Vietnamese flavors. But roasted crab? Really?
This week, crab and chicken breasts sold for the same price at the grocery store. What a perfect time to experiment with roasted crab at home. This is certainly a departure from simple steamed crab and is scrumptious in its own way. The flavor of oranges with just a little heat from the chilies is a perfect match for the dungeness crab. Messy? You betcha. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
- 3 large Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned, and cracked (about 4 1/4 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
2. Melt butter with oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, shallot, and dried crushed red pepper. Add crabs; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped thyme and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley over crabs. Stir to combine.
3. Place skillet in oven and roast crabs until heated through, stirring once, about 12 minutes.
4. Using tongs, transfer crabs to platter. Add orange juice and peel to same skillet; boil until sauce is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Spoon sauce over crabs. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme and 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.
- The cooking goes pretty quickly, so get all of the ingredients prepared and at your side before beginning.
- For easier cooking and serving, separate the crab into pieces before adding them to the skillet.
- Both the flavor and aroma are amazing!