As I have said before I love sea food and this is one of my favorites. I have an Aunt that is from Biloxi and she makes the best crab stew. I remember eating it as a kid growing up. I had not had any of Aunt Doris’s stew for years so I made a deal with her. I would bring fresh blue crabs home and she would teach me how to make it. Before I left Aransas Pass the other day I bought every live crab I could find. I wound up with 69.
The crabs on Ice. Still alive but asleep in the cold.
It is best to use the crab fresh, but I was about 4 days out from using them. There are different ways to handle crabs, you can cook them whole and freeze them, cook them and then pick the meat out and use it or you can freeze them whole. I chose freeze them whole since I was using the whole crab in the stew. I pulled the crab out of the freezer on Friday to let them thaw in the frig. Early Saturday morning John and I got up and started cleaning the crabs. Crab can spoil very quickly so we were very careful when processing them.
Cleaning and rinsing the crabs
Starting the cleaning process 1st you break off the abdominal plate.
Male and female crabs. The male has a slim pointed abdominal plate and the female had a rounded or half-moon shaped plate.
John scrubbing the shell with a stiff brush and removing the abdominal plate then I removed the carapace and cleaned the inside and placed it in ice to protect freshness.
After cleaning the crabs they were put on ice. Then we started the dicing of vegetables. We had celery, onions, red bell pepper and parsley. We fried up 2 lbs of bacon for the grease. We used the bacon grease along with vegetable oil to make the roux. I wish I had pictures of the finished roux, it was the color of a new penny. My Aunt made the prettiest roux I have ever seen.
Frying bacon for fat to use in the roux, sauteing vegetables and starting the first pan of roux.
Aunt Doris overseeing the dicing of the vegetables.
Adding crabs to the stock and vegetables.
John and Fernando adding more crabs.
Aunt Doris seasoning the stew.
The crabs are just about ready.
The stock I used was five gallons of chicken stock. The sautéed vegetables were added to the stock along with on head of sautéed garlic. This was bought to a boil then simmered for about an hour. Then the crabs were added and brought to a boil again. We then seasoned with Cajun seasoning salt and pepper. We added the roux to thicken and the seasonings were readjusted This cooked for about another five minutes and the stew was served over rice.
Sorry for no final pictures or a picture of the roux but we were running hard trying to have this ready for the big crowd that was coming to enjoy this treat from Aunt Doris.