Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab, Mint, Parsley and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 45 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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Court Bouillon:  

3 quarts water

2 to 3 cups white wine

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 lemon, quartered

2 (2-pound) whole Dungeness crabs, along with the hay it's packaged in, reserved

Roasted Tomatoes:

3 cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 small bunch thyme sprigs


2 tablespoons blended oil

7 to 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter

1 to 2 teaspoons red chili flakes

1 cup ouzo

4 oranges, juiced

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly picked parsley leaves

1 cup freshly picked mint leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the court bouillon: Add the water, white wine, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaf, and lemon to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once at a boil, add the crabs and boil for 15 minutes. Remove them from the court bouillon and add them to an ice bath. Once cool enough to handle, remove the back legs and set aside.
  3. To a large saute pan, add a layer of the reserved hay and top with the crab bodies. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons blended oil and top with more hay. Put into the oven and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Tomatoes: Arrange the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with thyme sprigs and roast for about 10 minutes.
  5. Sauce: In a high sided saute pan over medium-high heat, add the blended oil. Once heated, add the reserved back legs and toss. Add the garlic, shallots, and a big pinch salt and toss to combine. Add the butter and chili flakes and stir until the butter is melted. Lower the heat and slowly cook, for about 10 minutes, while the crab and tomatoes roast.
  6. Deglaze the pan with about 1 cup ouzo and raise the heat to medium-high. Be careful of the flame that will ignite. Blow out the flame, stir in the orange juice and taste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if needed. Allow to simmer to reduce slightly.
  7. Remove the crabs from the pan and brush off any excess hay. Remove the tail of the crab and crack open the top of the shell over the saute pan. Allow any excess juice to fall into the pan. Cut the body in half and add it to the pan. Repeat with the other crab.
  8. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and discard the thyme. Add them to the pan and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and toss in the parsley and thyme leaves.
  9. Pile the bodies and legs onto a serving platter and top with some of the sauce. Pour any remaining sauce into a gravy boat and serve it on the side.