I have not made this recipe for more than 30-years. Living on the west coast, it is almost impossible to find wild gator meat. Gator has a very mild flavor with a mild fishy taste. My paternal grandmother would make alligator stew and fried gator tails for my Mamma. This recipe brings back such great memories.
EMMA’S GATOR STEW
3 pounds Alligator tail, cut into 1-inch chunks, 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks, 1 pound crawfish tails, self-rising flour for dusting, 3 tablespoons peanut oil, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1 (3.5 oz.) jar capers, drained, 1 cups white onions, diced, 1/2 cup green bell peppers, diced, 1/2 cup celery, diced, 3/4 cup dry white wine, 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 (32 oz.) can stewing tomatoes, 1 cups yams, diced, 1 teaspoon raw honey, 1/2 cup moonshine, if you do not have moonshine then 1/2 cup of your favorite whiskey, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme, 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 stick of salted butter, salt, and pepper to taste, 4 green onions, chopped, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish and 4 sourdough baguette, sliced and toasted for sopping.
Heat the oil in a heavy dutch oven. While the oil is heating up, get out about 1/2 cup of self-rising flour, liberally season the flour with salt and pepper. Dampen the gator tail meat, dredge in the seasoning flour, shake off the excess. Add the gator to the hot oil and fry till the meat is golden brown on all sides. Remove from the heat, set aside. Add the garlic, onions, green peppers, and celery to the pot. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are translucent and peppers and celery are tender, be very careful not to burn the garlic. Add the wine, chicken stock, stewing tomatoes, yams, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and dry seasonings, mix well, taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Bring to simmer and cook uncovered for another 5-minutes. Add the gator and sausage, cover the pot and cook covered on low heat for approximately 45 minutes. While the pot is simmering, add the crawfish and 3 tablespoons liquid crab boil to a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil, then turn down to a simmer. I like spicy crawfish; add the crawfish to the bowl when you serve. In the last 5-minutes, add the butter and mix well, be careful not to break up the gator meat. It’s time to eat! Remove the bay leaves, get out the bowls, fill em up and garnish with the green onions and parsley.