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If your crab is alive, bring it gently to the boil in plenty of salted water. Allow 15 minutes for the first pound and 10 minutes for each subsequent pound.
Pick all the meat out of the shell and claws: the only non-edible bits are the mouth-piece and the feathery grey gills, the ‘dead man’s fingers’. Heat the oil in a shallow pan until faint blue haze rises. Add the garlic and chillies and fry for a moment. Stir in the crabmeat and the brandy. Allow all to bubble up fiercely to evaporate the alcohol. Serve immediately.
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