For about 2 to 4 dozen live crabs, add to a 48-quart pot. . .

5 gallons of water

1 cup Frank Davis Granular Seafood Boil

4 lemons, sliced

6 medium onions, quartered

6 ribs of celery

3 heads of garlic

4 bay leaves

1/2 cup salt (or to taste)

4 Tbsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

First, bring the plain water to a rolling boil.

Then toss in all the ingredients and allow the water and the seasonings to boil rapidly for about 10 minutes so that the flavors meld into a rich boiling stock.

Meanwhile, chill the crabs with a bag of ice (this keeps their claws from falling off when they are added to the boiling water!)

Then when you're ready to cook, put the crabs into the pot. The water will stop boiling. When it comes back to a rolling boil, time the crabs.....8 minutes for small to medium crabs, 10 minutes for medium to large crabs.

When the boiling time is over, shut off the fire, remove the pot from the burner (because if you don't, the crabs keep cooking from the secondary heat stored in the steel burner grate), drop another half-bag of ice on top of the crabs (which will cause them to sink to the bottom and start absorbing the seasonings), and let them soak for at least 20 minutes (or until they reach the seasoning intensity you desire).


Chef's Notes:

1-This recipe can be reduced or increased proportionately without affecting the flavor of the boiled crabs. Of course, if you like your seafood 'South Louisiana Spicy,' stir in enough seafood boil to make the water too hot and too salty. You do this by tasting the stock just before it comes to a rolling boil and before adding the crabs to the pot.

2-Large quantities of seafood boil best when cooked over propane heat. Natural gas from kitchen stoves just doesn't provide the BTU's necessary to boil large volumes of water. What you end up with is incorrect cooking times and mushy crabs.

3-If you plan to cook potatoes with your crabs, put them into the pot and boil them by themselves for 8 minutes. Then add the crabs, time them out as instructed above, and the potatoes and crabs will be ready at the same time. Always re-season the water every time you cook an additional batch.

4-To boil corn with your crabs, put the corn in the pot and boil the ears by themselves for 2 minutes. Then add the crabs, time them out as instructed above, and the corn and the crabs will be ready at the same time.

5-Never, never put cooked crabs back into the same container you used for the uncooked crabs with out first washing that container thoroughly with lots of soap and extremely hot water! That is how you get cholera!

6-If you can't find Frank Davis Granular Seafood Boil where you live, you can order it by direct mail by calling 1-800-742-4231or online from the website.