Ever tried alligator meat?
When it boils down to it, it basically tastes like the chicken of the swamp, hence the “white meat” reference. And man, do them Cajuns eat it up, cher! If you don’t believe us, substitute that white meat for some gator next time you’re cooking your favorite chicken recipe and see for yourself!
We might be known for being your go-to resource during crawfish season, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t know a little something about gators, too.
Curious? Good. Keep reading. You’ll be glad you did.
How to Procure Alligator Meat
Unless you grow alligators in your own neck of the swamp, we recommend that you get them the way most people do – frozen in filets or pieces. If you can, you want to find out how big the gator was. If it was longer than five feet, the meat will be tough.
That isn’t to say you won’t be able to use it in your gator recipes. You’ll just want to be choosy about which recipes you use for the different cuts. Ground meat recipes would work for the tougher gator parts. Leave the better stuff for your more gourmet dishes.
The most popular and best portion of the gator is the tenderloin, which is found in the alligator’s tail. Some in the industry consider this portion of the alligator to be the equivalent of fillet mignon. Mm-mm!
The tail also has white meat in it that isn’t a part of the tenderloin. If you can’t afford the tenderloin, this cut is your next best bet. Then we have the white meat from the gator’s legs and body. This is the meat that is most equivalent to chicken, mainly because it’s the most tender part of the gator and mildest in flavor.
Believe it or not, gators have red meat too. In our opinion, the texture and taste of the white meat is where it’s at! But hey, there are people that eat the red meat. To each his own!
Prepping Gators for Cooking
You can treat alligator meat just like you would chicken or beef. Tenderize it using a standard meat mallet and for an extra delish result, sprinkle on your favorite meat tenderizer, too.
For alligator meatballs or tacos, go with ground gator meat.
How to Cook Alligator Meat
Like most meats, it can be cooked in a variety of ways, though there are some general rules of thumb to follow to get the best results. Some Cajun cooks like to keep it simple, and just pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes with a little garlic butter and a smidge of lemon to let the taste and textures speak for themselves. And of course, it always tastes great pan-seared or fried to a golden crisp!
Like some of its more land-dwelling counterparts, alligator meat’s flavor will be enhanced by the seasoning you slap on it. After all, it wouldn’t be considered Cajun without a kick.
Cajun Football Cook-Offs
In a couple of weeks, fall will descend upon us. And you know what that means – football parties, Cajun cook-offs, and an infinite supply of good times!
Step up your party spread this year with alligator dishes, sure to satisfy the bellies of Cajun Country!
- Etouffee (Toss in some gator meat for an added boost of flavor!)
- Gator Chili
- Fried Alligator
- Gator Taters
- Alligator Sauce Piquante
- Comeback Sauce AKA Gator Dip
Not sure where to buy your meat? We’ve got you covered, cher! Check out Acadia Crawfish for the tastiest alligator, crawfish and Cajun seasonings South Louisiana has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!