Food adventures are one of my favorite things. Trying new foods, new techniques, new restaurants and new gadgets are all exciting. So why not try alligator! I was quite surprised when alligator was in my market’s frozen, seafood section. I had to try it. I was just plain curious as to taste and preparation. Of course my family instantly thought I had watched one-too-many episodes of Swamp People! I definitely had not! Once home I thawed the meat and was surprised to see it looked a lot like catfish, not chicken as some people had said. First I marinated it in buttermilk and coarse black pepper, and chilled it for a few hours.
Next I made my egg-milk bath and dipped each piece in flour, then in the egg bath. Lastly I dredged each piece in panko crumbs seasoned with a bit of dill, mustard, cumin, and chili powder. I placed them on a tray with parchment paper and baked the alligator at 375 degrees about 15 minutes, depending on the size of each piece. The result was crispy, baked alligator that tasted like a combination of fish and the dark meat of turkey, but not exactly. I guess that means it tasted like alligator. A few pieces I dipped in a beer batter just to try. Good too, the baked was better. The texture was more pork-like and the meat was chewier than I expected. I did like it, but you won’t be seeing it on my favorite list anytime soon!