From America's Test Kitchen Season 5: Restaurant Cooking at Home
Boiling and steaming are the usual ways of preparing lobster, and they’re just fine. But we wanted an alternative cooking method that would be even tastier, and we didn’t want to spend a whole lot more time in the kitchen. Our solution was a restaurant dish adapted for home cooking.
The New England restaurant chef Jasper White created a pan-roasted lobster dish that we took as our starting point. We quartered the lobsters and tossed them into a very hot skillet—shells down, so the meat wouldn’t overcook—to pan-roast. The heat roasted the shells and permeated the lobster meat with intense flavor. To cook the exposed meat, we put the skillet under the broiler, returning it to the stovetop when the meat was cooked through. Now came the fun part: We flambéed the lobster with bourbon (carefully, of course!). A quick pan sauce, made in the skillet after we removed the lobsters, was the final touch; we used shallots, white wine, herbs, and, for unusual and intense flavor, the lobster tomalley. This way of cooking lobsters is a little more trouble than dunking them in a pot of boiling water, but we think the results are well worth it.
If you want to prepare more than two lobsters, we suggest that you engage some help. This dish requires close attention, and managing multiple extremely hot pans can be tricky. Before flambeing, make sure to roll up long shirtsleeves, tie back long hair, turn off the exhaust fan (otherwise the fan may pull up the flames), and turn off any lit burners (this is critical if you have a gas stove). For equipment, you will need a large ovensafe skillet, oven mitts, a pair of tongs, and long fireplace or grill matches.