Cooking Alligators

Hello. I have just learned that we are about to have alligator for supper in the near future. This is something neither my wife nor I has ever cooked before, and I’m looking for recipes. I want to try preparing a meal out of this meat, but I really have no clue where to begin. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, and have a wonderful day.

Cut into cubes. Dip them in batter, as if you’re frying chicken. Fry in oil. Serve with a fruit sauce (such as raspberry or raspberry vinaigrette) and Pickapeppa sauce.

I’ve done the fried gator. It’s got a good flavor. The meat can be very tough though, so tenderizing by pounding or using marinade can help. The meat can also be thin sliced and used in recipes replacing any kind of meat.

I’ve only had it as alligator nuggets with a tartar-like remoulade dipping sauce. Like chicken mcnuggets. It was tough and had very little flavor.

Alligator chili?

This sounds intriguing, but I have just been informed that all things raspberry are disgusting. Although I disagree with this sentiment, it looks like the raspberry vinaigrette will have to wait for our second experiment with dinner.

I thank everybody for all the suggestions. :slight_smile:

In New Orleans (Ralph & Kakoo’s) it was served with mayonnaise. Really, you can serve it with just about any dipping sauce. But I like to alternate bites with the raspberry sauce and Pickapeppa.

I have never cooked it, but I have eaten it étouffée, and I would just use a standard recipe for chicken étouffé and serve over rice.

May I ask… how does one discover that they’re about to be given raw alligator? Did a friend catch one? Do you know what part of the alligator it will be? I assume the tail but wonder if different parts are routinely cooked different ways.

In my experience, alligators can’t cook worth a damn. It’s a total croc.

Sometimes one receives an email from one’s wife regarding a new grocery store discovery and next week’s probable menu. :slight_smile:

Ha! :cool:

Plugging “alligator” into brought up 24 recipes, including several variations on stew and on meatballs. I also found a number of options here.

Please be sure to bump this thread back up with an update after your meal! I’d love to hear how it came out, whatever you decide to make.

I am not much of a food critic, but **purplehorseshoe **wished for a report, and purplehorseshoe’s wish, evidently, is my command, at least this evening.

I decided to follow the suggestion of **Johnny L.A. **and am glad I did. Simply cutting the alligator into pieces and frying it proved a quick and easy way to prepare this food. The real key to our successful gatorfest, however, lay in the sauces. Pickapeppa is good, and it went well with the animal’s peculiar (and not quite chickeny) flavor. But the raspberry was a stroke of genius. This is something I never would have thought of on my own, but I must say, the sweetness and bit of zing offered by this berry serves as a marvelous complement to alligator’s flavor . . . this is something I shall definitely do again. If we made any mistakes in this meal, it might have been trying to tenderize the meat too much. Yes, it was tough, but nearly as tough as I had been warned. Beyond this, the only snag that developed involved my daughter’s discovery of what Mom and Dad had put on the evening’s menu. Something of an expert in food chains, my daughter explained to me that eating alligator was tantamount to cannibalism. After all, if you are what you eat, then you are what your food eats, and everybody knows that alligators eat humans (and in at least some of my wife’s movies, this often occurs). Additionally, alligators are gross and disgusting generally, and one should not eat gross and disgusting creatures any more than one should eat cute ones (evidently cows, pigs, and chickens occupy a zone of gross-cute ambiguity that makes them eatable). However, after an extremely long conversation, she decided a nibble wouldn’t hurt anything, and this nibble was followed by a bite, and this bite was followed by a declaration that alligator is delicious and we must eat it more often. No problem. Although not as enthusiastic about alligator as my daughter, I did find it quite enjoyable, and we will no doubt see alligator on the **Gil-Martin **table again in the future. I might note that the **Gil-Martin **family is somewhat finicky, and it is rare that all five of us can agree that any one entrée is enjoyable. That it happened tonight is reason enough to purchase more alligator in the future and experiment with different recipes. I shall also be experimenting with raspberry sauces of one kind or another with other kinds of meat. Who would have thought this would go well with meat of any kind? Well, perhaps numerous people have had this thought, but if so nobody has ever shared it with me before. Fantastic.

Anyway, thank you all very much for your suggestions. I shall no doubt be experimenting with some of the other suggestions in this thread some time relatively soon.

Next week . . . buffalo.

I don’t have a recipe for you, but I had some alligator étouffée once that was fantastic. So I guess I am recommending looking for an alligator étouffée recipe.

ETA: Oops. Too late, I see.

Full disclosure: I totally stole it from a place in SoCal (which was also the scene of a couple of Dopefests).

My best fiend got married a couple of years ago, and they invited me to meet them in New Orleans. I took them to a nice dinner at Ralph & Kakoo’s. The waiter suggested that the oysters weren’t great that time of year, so we opted for the alligator (with mayonnaise and marinara sauces). Here’s the thing: My fiend’s wife doesn’t actually speak English (and I don’t speak Spanish). After we’d eaten about half of it, she picked up on the gist of our conversation: ‘¿Éste es caiman?’ Yes. The look on her face was priceless. But she knew that she’d been eating it, and that she liked it; so she shrugged and kept eating. :stuck_out_tongue:

Re: the raspberry. Berry sauces often go well with game animals. For example, turkey and cranberries. (Or Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam, though they’re not ‘game’ meat.) I like to make a reduction of lingonberry preserves, a little water, and the sux from the pan to serve with confit duck legs. Of course bacon or sausages dipped in maple syrup is a classic combination. Sweet and savoury are a good combination.

Four words: raspberry chipotle barbeque sauce.

We eat gator semi regularly. Tail meat is indeed the most common, but the ribs and legs are great too. I found the trick is to smoke the meat low and slow with a bit of bacon fat to prevent drying out. After that, it’s about as good as you can get in any recipe you’d use smoked poultry in. Same trick works well for any reptile meat that you don’t want to cook simply, like iguana, python or rattlesnake.