Alligator Chili

(NAPSA) – It’s time to set the record straight on an often misunderstood Louisiana delicacy.

Those who are leery of trying Louisiana alligator meat often fear that the flavor will be too exotic, but Chef John Folse, a Louisiana restaurateur, knows otherwise. ‘Alligator is one of those swamp floor pantry ingredients that adapt so well to all of the cooking techniques in Southern cooking,’ said Folse. ‘So whether served in a classic fashion or smothered in a sauce piquante, the flavor of alligator is excellent.’

Folse introduces curious eaters to alligator meat at his restaurant, Lafitte’s Landing at Bittersweet Plantation in Donaldsonville, La. It is here that Chef Folse serves alligator sausage as an appetizer. The meat’s leanness and versatility have put its popularity on the rise, and alligator meat is appearing in kitchens just as notable as Chef John Folse’s around the country. This recipe is from his cookbook The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine:

Alligator Chili: A Treat For Curious Eaters

Prep Time: 1.5 Hours


  • 3 pounds alligator meat diced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers diced
  • 1 can pinto beans 16-ounce
  • 3 cans tomato sauce 8-ounce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper cracked
  • granulated garlic to taste


In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Add alligator and saute 20 minutes to render juices. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic and jalapeno peppers and saute 3-5 minutes or until wilted. Add pinto beans, tomato sauce and chicken stock.

Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer. Stir in chili powder and cumin and cook approximately 1 hour or until alligator is tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic.

Serve over spaghetti, if desired.


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