Put the crab on its back on a work surface and twist the legs and claws to separate them from the body. Holding the shell in your hands, extract the body Section from the shell by pressing firmly against the tail of the crab. Pull out and discard the stomach and the gills (the ‘dead men’s fingers’), which are found just behind the mouth. Pull out and discard the grey-white ‘beards’ on either side of the body.
Using a pointed knife and a spoon, pick out all the brown meat left in the shell and set it on one side. Pick out all the white meat from the tail and set aside separate from the brown meat, if preferred. Using nutcrackers, crack open the legs and claws and pick out all the meat, being careful to extract and discard the sharp shaft of shell in the center of the flesh in the claw.