Classic Jazz Fest Recipe: Alligator Sauce Piquante

Published on: April 24th, 2020

From the first (1984) edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Cookbook by Lorraine Landry and Lee Barnes. Courtesy NOJ&HF Archive.

Alligator Sauce Piquante, as prepared by: Joe Cahn, New Orleans School of Cooking.

1/2 lb. lard
2 lbs. alligator meat, defatted and cubed
Foltz creole seasoning (substitute your favorite brand)
1 c. flour
2 c. onions, coarsely chopped
2 c. celery, sliced
2 c. bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 29 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2-3 tbsp. dark brown sugar, to taste
2 c. chicken stock
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. sweet basil
1-2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Alligator meat needs to be very free of fat because the fat tends to give the meat that very strong, gamey taste, and becomes rancid rapidly. I have found that washing the meat well in cold water helps eliminate some of the very strong taste.

Season the meat well with Foltz creole seasoning, or another blend of your choosing, and brown in lard. Remove the meat and make a roux using the fat and an equal amount (about a cup) of flour, cooking it to a medium brown color. Add onions, celery, and bell pepper. When pot is cooled somewhat, add garlic and saute vegetables over medium heat until tender. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and enough brown sugar to cut the acid taste of the tomatoes. Season to your own taste and simmer until thickened and meat is tender. Serve over rice. Yield: 8 -10 servings. Enjoy!

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