Never waste bones or shells when a lovely stock can be made!
Here's the recipe for Crab Stock:
1 & ½ to 2# crab shells, picked over & broken into pieces.
2 quarts of cold water
3 stalks celery
1 medium onion, peeled & quartered
1 small leek
1 ½ tsp black peppercorns
1 large bay leaf
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
1 ½ tsp Kosher or sea salt.
Place all in a large stock pot. Water should just cover shells & vegetables. If not, add enough to cover. Bring to a simmer & simmer for 1 to ½ hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. (I strain once to get rid of the shells & a second time through muslin to get rid of any additional bits. This gives me a really clear stock)
To cool quickly add 1 ½ cups ice cubes. Stir until they are melted then refrigerate. This may be used immediately or refrigerated for up to two days. If you don’t plan to use it right away, bring the temperature of the stock to 40 degrees or below, place in containers and freeze. Homemade crab stock is treasure in your freezer. It can quickly be turned into crab bisque, crab & shrimp chowder, Cioppino and so on.