For a meat that is supposed to taste a lot like chicken, it's not always cheap, but it sure is popular. Demand is pushing the wholesale price of alligator meat to $12 to $15 a pound.
Although most commonly served fried as gator "nuggets", alligator is said to have a veal-like quality and can be easily substituted for any dish containing seafood, chicken, or pork.
One possible reason behind the rise in popularity of eating gator is the amount of protein packed into the meat. A 3.5 ounce of alligator contains 46 grams of protein, double the amount contained in a comparable serving size of beef.
There are more than 30 alligator farms in Florida, although some of the alligator meat sold is from wild caught gators. Florida, with an estimated 1.2 million alligators, has the second highest number of gators in the nation (after Louisiana!).
So, besides gator nuggets, how do you prepare alligator? We’ve come up with 7 ways to cook with gator.
- Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Mayonnaise – Who said gator and fine dining don't belong in the same sentence? Well, maybe no one, but this recipe also contains links to other gator recipes, and a primer on cooking with alligator.
- Alligator Stewed in Sauce Piquant – You have to figure we would get around to a recipe from Louisiana’s most recognizable chef, Emeril Lagasse, who recently popped into St. Cloud to do a taping for Emeril’s Florida on the Cooking Channel.
- Grilled alligator meat – Summer. Grill. Gator. Mmm. Check out this recipe for grilled gator.
- Gator burgers with sautéed Florida peppers – Here is another grill recipe, only this is for burgers. This recipe is from a collection of gator recipes prepared by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Talk about the pros who know alligators putting together some goods in the kitchen for us!
- Gator Tail Picadillo – Besides getting a link to this recipe, there is some information about alligator and tips on how to cook it from Andrew Zimmern, who hosts The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods shows, and talks about cooking with alligator on his website.
- Alligator Chili – It’s one of the recipes we found pinned on a board of gator recipes on Pinterest. And there are surprisingly a LOT of those.
- General Tso’s Alligator – Alligator gets an Asian twist in this recipe from the Food Network’s Ming Tsai.
If want to put a bite on a gator and stay out of the kitchen, you can always get gator from our Chomp House Grill!