Meaty, sweet, and tender, these bairdi crab legs need nothing more than a dunk in flavorful butter. Chipotle adds smoky heat, so feel free to add as much or as little as you like to suit your heat preference.
- 1 bairdi cluster (approximately 4 legs and body), thawed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ lemon, cut into wedges
Separate the crab legs from the body and break into segments at the joints. Using a sturdy knife cut the body into 2 pieces.
In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is golden and nutty, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in as much of the chipotle as desired. Transfer the butter to a small bowl and stir in the cilantro and a squeeze of lemon. Keep warm.
Place the crab into a wok or skillet with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Cover and steam just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a platter and serve with the chipotle brown butter, lemon wedges, claw crackers, picks, and lots of napkins. Enjoy!
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Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.