Not Cat Cora’s Oven-Roasted Christmas Crab Recipe

Sometimes, some of our most memorable and best tasting dishes are fashioned from mind-blowing inspirations, such as watching the talents of great chefs, like Cat Cora. But you must also have heart for cooking. Imagination is required, and, (Julia Child had it right and said it best), “the courage of your convictions.”


This Oven-Roasted Garlicky Dungeness Crab recipe is down-to-earth easy yet sophisticated and incredibly finger-licking delicious. This recipe is a take from chef Cat Cora’s “Buon Natale” crab recipe, featured on the Food Network, The Best Thing I Ever Ate show, “The Best Thing I Ever Made for the Holidays” episode.


Of crabs; it is recommended that the best time of the year to buy fresh crabs is in the months with the letter “R”. So this is the time to take advantage; stores that carry seafood seem to have crabs aplenty. So impress your family and friends and get your belly’s fill this Christmas holiday!


Come; take a comfortable seat at our cozy table. Dinner is served!

This recipe serves 4


Adjust your oven rack to just below the middle section of the oven, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup good-quality olive oil

1/4 cup garlic, [measured] minced

1 large bulb shallot, minced

1 tablespoon (or to personal taste) red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh thyme (leaves only)

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 tablespoon sea or gray salt

4 large Dungeness crabs (about 1-1/2 pounds each), cooked, cleaned, and lightly cracked

  • In a large ovenproof skillet, on the large burner and over medium heat, add all ingredients (but NOT the crabs), and sauté until shallots appear translucent.
  • Turn off the heat and add the crabs; gently toss with tongs, making sure all pieces are coated with the butter mixture.
  • Place skillet in the oven and roast crabs about 14 minutes, tossing once halfway into roasting.


1 cup good-quality dry white wine

1/2 cup orange juice

  • Transfer the crabs to a large platter and cover to keep warm.
  • Place the hot skillet back on the large burner and bring butter mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add wine and orange juice; boil sauce until it is reduced by about half. This should take about 5 minutes or so.
  • Immediately pour this wine-butter sauce over the crabs and serve right away.


Serve with hunks of French bread for dipping into the wine-butter sauce, or serve with thick slices of warm garlic bread, if you can stand more garlic! This should definitely keep the vampires away!

Cook with heart; eat with gusto. Buen Provecho!

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