Recipe courtesy of Little Jewel of New Orleans

Gulf Coast Alligator Chili

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 18 hr 25 min (includes marinating and chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 8 servings



  1. Soak alligator in buttermilk in a container, refrigerated, overnight.
  2. Transfer alligator to a colander and rinse all the buttermilk off the meat. Let it completely drain or pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Saute the alligator and ground pork together with the vegetable oil in a large stockpot on medium heat until the meats start to brown and release liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the cooked meat to a bowl to separate it from the liquid fat. Keeping the fat on medium heat, add the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic, followed by the chipotles, jalapenos and serranos. Sweat this mixture down until onions turn clear.
  4. Add diced tomatoes. At this point, you will have a bit of liquid from all the fats and vegetables. Stir in 1/2 cup flour (or more, if desired) to thicken up the liquid and absorb the fats. Stir in the chicken stock, followed by the tomato sauce. Add the drained ranch beans, although this step is optional, depending on whether you want beans in
  5. your chili (hint: we always do). Cook, stirring regularly, until the pot hits a low boil. Add the alligator and pork mixture, along with half the beer. Stir in the cayenne, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika, black pepper and salt. Reduce the heat to very low, then cover pot and simmer, stirring every 10 minutes or so to keep the chili from sticking to the bottom, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Though you could actually serve this dish now, as it will taste great, we truly feel that refrigerating and reheating it again adds to "the leftover effect" which allows the flavors to really marinate and come out to a noticeable degree. Remove pot from heat and set to the side until chili hits room temperature. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, just reheat slowly (up to a low boil), stirring in the remaining beer to loosen up the dish. Garnish with green onions, Cheddar, sour cream and hot sauce. We always garnish the chili with our signature Dixie Fried Blue Crab and Corn Hush Puppies.