How to Cook a Whole Octopus?
1 whole Octopus
4-5 large cloves of garlic
Red wine/ white vinegar (optional)
Salt, black pepper, olive oil, dried parsley
Defrost fully until all tentacles limp, be sure to check where the head meets the tentacles (just under the siphon) as that is the thickest part of the octopus to avoid uneven cooking.
2- Remove beak:
To remove the beak of the octopus, first cut off the head just under the eyes. Push the beak out from the top down. If you are having some difficulties removing, try using a pairing knife and cut around the center as if you were coring a cherry tomato or strawberry.
3- Preparing Court-bouillon (blanching solution):
Fill large stock pot with water enough to submerge octopus. Vinegar or wine can be added to the solution at this time to aid in tenderizing. Vinegar or wine should be roughly 1/5th of total volume in the stock pot. Season water with quarter cup of salt, 15-20 turns on the peppermill, one whole onion, one whole lemon, and 4 cloves of garlic. Set on high heat and bring to a boil. (Celery, parsley, carrots, fennel, bay leaves, and thyme would also work well in the solution)
4- Boiling the Octopus:
Hold Octopus body, allowing for tentacles to hang. Dip tentacles in boiling solution 3-5 times at 2-3 second intervals. The legs curl beautifully when you dip before fully submerging. After tentacles curl, submerge whole octopus and leave pot on a simmer with lid slightly ajar. General cooking time is around 10-15 min per pound. To check doneness, use a wooden skewer and pierce the thickest part of the octopus. If it can go through to the center easily with no resistance, it is ready. Submerge in iced water after boiling to halt cooking process.
5- Grilling the Octopus:
Separate Octopus legs and quarter the head prior to marinating. Season with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley. Grill over high heat for 2-3 min a side or until crispy.