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VIDEO: How to Crack Crab Legs

It's not as tough as it seems.

Hi Everyone, 

I'm John Johnson, the Executive Chef at River City Casino and Lumiere Place. Most people call me Chef John. I'll be here to give you tips on easy ways to cook at home, as well as tips for ordering meals at restaurants. If you have something you'd like to see or learn...just ask!

Guests love our crab legs, but some people struggle with getting them open. Watch as I show you the easiest way to get to the crab meat.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Amanda Holland April 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM
COOL! I always wanted to learn how to do this! I'm going to BYOSisscors from now on.
Judith Pressley April 20, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Amen! If I want to make these at home, how do I cook them?
Emily Taylor April 20, 2012 at 04:25 PM
love this. but i dont understand how you can eat them without butter. that's the best part
Terry Locke April 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I can NEVER get the meat out in the little part of the legs. Does that mean they're overcooked?
Amanda Anderson April 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM
This is great! Is it the same with lobsters?
Amber Burton April 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Can you eat the gray stuff? Because I've always wondered that
Tom Allen April 20, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I love River City's crab legs perfect begining to a night at the slots
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Part 2: Store bought Crab Legs usually come frozen and are already cooked and you are simply adding flavor and heating them up. Cooking them in small batches will keep them hot and keep in mind it is easy to over cook them so adjust your cook time as needed. make sure to let the water come back to a boil before cooking your next batch. Hint: If you are cooking a good amount of crab you may end up with a pretty good stock that you can strain and turn into a great crab soup. Let me know how this works for you.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Part 1: When it comes to crab I like to keep it simple! 2 table spoon of oil 1 diced carrot 1 diced celery stem 1/2 diced onion 2 garlic cloves 1 lemon cut in half 1 lime cut in half 1 orange cut in half In a 3 gal stock pot heat oil. Add carrot and stir around until carrot begins to brown, Add celery and repeat. Finally add onion and cook until onion softens and begins to brown. Add rest of ingredients and stir until aroma begins to bloom. Add enough cold water to fill the pot 3/4 full. Bring to a boil. Add small amount of crab legs and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes. You may have to adjust cook time.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Wow! I am so glad that you liked the video. Just got done cooking 4000 lbs of crab legs tonight.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:24 AM
You are right... butter with crab is heaven! Some times when you get really good meaty crab you don't need the butter to enhance the flavor. They are like finding a four leaf clover. I just got lucky.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:26 AM
If the meat is sticking to the inside of the shell it may mean they need to cook a little more. The heat causes them to release from the shell. If they are over cooked they will be soft and mushy.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Scissors will work very well with lobster. I have a video for that too. I will post it soon.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:31 AM
All the meat in the legs is good to eat. If you are talking about the meat in the knuckle I think that is the best.
Chef John Johnson April 21, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Well we just cooked a little over 2 tons tonight. If you didn't already know we are also offering them in Lewy Nines on Fiday night.
Judith Pressley April 22, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Thanks so much, Chef John! I'm going to try that next weekend. Lemon, lime and orange in stock. Who knew?
Jason Johnson April 23, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Chef John, I'm visiting from the low country of South Carolina. There we specialize in Shrimp and Grits. Are there any great shrimp receipies that you recomend that I could make at home? Mabee with some collards or rice?
Chef John Johnson April 24, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Part1: Jason sorry for not getting to you sooner. I have a great recipe that I sent my brothers who live in Charleston S.C. They loved it and I hope you will too. This is an easy recipe but there are three steps. 1. Cooking the greens. 2. Separating the fat from the liquid. 3. Cooking the shrimp. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon oil 4 sliced of thick cut Hickory smoked bacon 1 smoked ham hock 1 onion large diced 1 red jalapeno chilies (sliced) 2 garlic cloves 2 bunches of collards ( remove center rib and cut into 2” pieces) 2 tablespoon cider vinegar Cold water as needed 2 pound of fresh large shrimp with shell on Directions to follow:
Chef John Johnson April 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Part 2: Remove shells from shrimp and hold shrimp for later. In large stock pot sauté the shells in oil until that start to brown. Stir frequently. You should begin to see a nice golden color form on the bottom of the pan. The shrimp shells will give the dish a better shrimp flavor in the final product. Remove all the shells and add bacon and ham hock. When bacon is half cooked add onions and whole garlic. Cook for an addition 5 minutes until onions begin to brown and wilt. Add vinegar, chilies and collard greens. Cover with enough cold water to cover collards. Cover with lid and cook for 2 hours on low heat. Remove from heat and drain. Hold greens in a bowl. Place liquid in refrigerator and cool until fat get hard on top. Remove and separate the fat from the liquid. Pull the meat from the ham hock and hold. Now your ready to cook shrimp. In hot pan add 3 tablespoons of the fat from the collard greens and sauté the shrimp and ham hock meat until the shrimp is done. Add the collard greens and serve over your favorite rice. Hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know if you have any questions.
Ashley Anderson April 24, 2012 at 09:41 PM
This is awesome! I'm a huge seafood fan, but can never cook it right at home. I'm going to try the crab recipe and maybe I can teach my bf how to eat them lol.
Chef John Johnson April 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Please don't be afraid to ask questions. If you need any help or fall into trouble please send me a quick note. I try to reply as quick as possible. Let me know if there are any other recipes you'ld to see.
Ashley Anderson April 25, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Thanks Chef John. Where's the best place to get crab legs if you're buying for a family- rather than a huge casino :)
Chef John Johnson April 25, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I go to Whole Food in Brentwood. They always have a pretty good selection. It is worth buying the larger leggs over the smaller one. Of course Alaskan King Crab are the best and they are expensive. I prefer the Alaskan Snow crab over the Canadian Snow Crab. Great flavor without killing my wallet.

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