Lobster is not the only crustacean that benefits from roasting. Shrimp, too, see their sweet flavor concentrating and deepening, but those benefits are only worth it if the quick-cooking flesh stays tender and moist.
Aiming for that ideal balance of profound flavor and perfect doneness, we took every precaution against overcooking, starting by brining hefty jumbo shrimp for extra moisture and thorough seasoning.
Butterflying the shrimp offered an easy route to flavor-infused flesh, and although we sliced through the shells, we didn’t remove them, as they proved key to boosting flavor while also adding an extra layer of protection.
After tossing the shrimp in melted butter and olive oil boosted with garlic, spices, and herbs, we elevated them on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and slid them under the broiler. Within minutes, our shrimp emerged tender and deeply fragrant beneath flavorful, browned shells.
Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Parsley and Anise
Start to finish: 1 hour
1/4 cup salt
2 pounds shell-on jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Dissolve salt in 1 quart cold water in large container. Using kitchen shears or sharp paring knife, cut through shell of shrimp and devein but do not remove shell. Using paring knife, continue to cut shrimp 1/2 inch deep, taking care not to cut in half completely. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Combine melted butter, oil, garlic, anise seeds, pepper flakes, and pepper in large bowl. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Add shrimp and parsley to butter mixture; toss well, making sure butter mixture gets into interior of shrimp. Arrange shrimp in single layer on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
Broil shrimp until opaque and shells are beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling. Flip shrimp and continue to broil until second side is opaque and shells are beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes longer, rotating sheet halfway through broiling. Transfer shrimp to serving dish and serve with lemon wedges.