The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Cracker Cooking: Alligator Tenderloins
After the last few days of drama, I thought a light hearted post was in order.
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This is a local recipe that I have heard about for years. There are about as many ways to do it, as there are gators in the swamps. My guess is that the best tasting gators come from clear streams or strongly brackish water near the coast. You can also get some in the supermarket cold aisle by the poultry section. It’s cleverly marked as chicken breast.
B-B-Q Alligator Tenderloins
1 lbs of alligator meat, preferably the tenderloin, and cubed like chicken nuggets.
1 ½ cups of bourbon. (Stick to the inexpensive stuff for marinades and drink the good stuff)
1 tsp. of cayenne pepper (More if you like that flavor.)
1-3 clove of garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp of salt
1/2 cup olive oil
In a mortar, mash 1 to 3 cloves of garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil and the teaspoon of salt. Mash it until you have a homogeneous mixture.
Taking a sip or two of the bourbon and make sure it’s ok. Now combine all the ingredients. You can use a food processor or blender if you want, but I think it just makes more to clean. I just use a plastic bowl and a whisk.
Take a wide flat container, pour your marinade in it, and add the gator or chicken pieces. Make sure they all get coated.
Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours, occasionally turning the pieces so they get well marinaded.
You have a couple of options at this point. You can either barbeque them or stir-fry. I’ve done it both ways and they’re both good!
Get the grill ready with a good layer of coals.
When the grill is ready, place the meat on grill over the hot coals for 5 minutes or so. Occasionally brush on some marinade. When the edges of the gator or chicken start to turn white, brush on some more marinade and flip the meat over. Hit it with more marinade and cook it for another 5 or 6 minutes.
Serve it with corn, vegetables, or potatoes.
On the skillet:
Get the skillet hot. Pour a little oil in the skillet and when it is shimmering add a few pieces of gator. Don’t put too much in at a time!
As the meat cooks, move it around on the hot skillet so it browns nicely and doesn’t burn. Don’t cook it all the way through yet.
Put the first batch on a warm plate, and continue to cook the rest batch by batch until you have them all almost cooked.
When the last batch is done, make sure everything else is ready. All your side dishes should be done. Now, as the first plates are being prepared, put all the meat in the hot skillet and finish cooking them. It shouldn’t take more than a minute. Push the meat to the edges, and add some marinade to the center of the skillet and let it simmer and boil while you serve the meat piping hot on a bed of rice, noodles, or vegetables. Then pour some (just a little) of the marinade over all of it.
It takes longer to describe than it does to cook.
For all you folks watching your weight, this is a real healthful dish. Pile on the vegetables, get all your vitamins, and fiber too! We don't want our Vegan friends to think we aren't conscientious about our health. If you also take into consideration the exercise you get from wrestling that gator to the table, shoot you can't lose!