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How to cook alligator?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm specifically trying to avoid "cajun" recipes.  So far, all I'm finding is frying chunks of meat or being part of a stew concoction.  I'm looking for ideas where alligator can be the "star" of the plate.  I'm really doing my research in the wrong order, since I've never actually seen alligator meat.  My assumption is that it should be able to be grilled, braised, etc.  Perhaps I'm just way off base, but if I'm going to get alligator meat, I want to taste the alligator.  If I'm going to cook it in a restaurant, it will carry a premium price tag, so frying just seems like the only draw would be to say that a person has eaten alligator meat. 

 

 

post #2 of 10

Take a look at this and you'll find some of the information you're looking for.

 

http://www.alligatorfur.com/recipes.htm

post #3 of 10

According to that link, it depends on the cut... just like any other animal. But I am sure braising would be amazing. Better send off for some and throw it in a pan with some salt and pepper and see what it tastes like, be sure to let us know. I have only ever had it fried cajun style.

post #4 of 10

   The problem with Cajun people is how people perceive it.  Cajun cooking in the North usually means overly spiced and many time fried pieces of food.  Cajun, Creole cooking is not how many of us view it.  Cajun and Creole cooking is much less about overly spicing something and more about using the proper cut of meat and breaking it down with the proper cooking method, while many times joining many items in a pot/pan.  Think about all the Cajun and Creole pork dishes, it's always about the meat.  Pork, rabbit, alligator...heck, the greens in LA are great!

 

  My favorite type of alligator is grilled, but I've got no idea what part of the alligator was used (I should have asked).  I know that here, in Northern Illinois, we can easily find the pre-packaged frozen chunks of alligator meat.  I'm not sure if these are good for anything other than frying.  I've simply never done my homework on cooking alligator either.

 

  First question I would ask myself.  What cut of alligator meat can I get?  Then just try varying methods.  I would try cooking over a nice wood fire, lightly seasoned, and not overcooking it.   From there, once you get to know the meat, and how you can cook it, I would venture off into different areas.  But I would get acquainted with the meat first.

 

Dan

post #5 of 10

I would venture a wag (wild ***ed guess) that you had the tail meat Dan.  It seems the most widely used cut according to the Cajun style cooks that I know.  Although in Cajun country all parts are used and most generally in a stew type food.  Such as Etoufee, and Gumbo, and Jambalaya.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

The reason I'm trying to avoid "cajun" recipes is that they tend to be either fried or a stew preparation.  There is a chain (in TX at least) called Razoo's.  While the food is acceptable, it feels like everything is breaded with the same seasonings and fried.  A lot of restaurants that are weighted toward fried foods have the same issue -- they find one "signature breading" and everything is coated in it.  You end up with 20 different dishes that taste much the same.  I am not dismissing cajun food because of the spices or even the flavor profile, but more for the general preparation methods. 

 

There is most definitely a time and place for Etoufee, and Gumbo, and Jambalaya, but you can "hide" lesser cuts of meat in those dishes.  I'm looking for dishes where the cost of alligator meat is justified based upon the end result.  There is no doubt that you can use super-premium proteins in gumbo, but trying to sell a bowl of gumbo for $9 isn't going to go over well in most restaurants. 

 

post #7 of 10

I ate it once at a fair in Orleans. Don't know what part they used . It wasn't that bad it was like a stew of some kind with peppers. onions and a tomato base if I remember. It was on a hot afternoon and that night ate at K-Pauls(Prudhommes place)  I let one cup of it get cold back at the hotel room fridge  and it formed a jell, like veal does

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 10

I just saw some guy cook it on masterchef.. I would love to find a way to get my hands on some here in NY to try out.

post #9 of 10

When I lived in NY over 20 years ago, the city government was complaining about Alligators being in the city sewer system. People harboring as pets and when they got to big, dumping them in sewers. Almost like the Pythons in Florida, they are not native here but because of dumping them ,our Everglades are loaded with them.. Now not only do we have an annual alligator hunt but we also have  python hunt.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #10 of 10

Have to say I wasn't too impressed the one time I tried alligator, found it really bland.

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