Alligator Gumbo

03/05/2014

gumbo

In honor of yesterday’s Fat Tuesday, I thought it would be appropriate to post something New Orleans related: Alligator Gumbo. But truthfully, the times I open my freezer in search of something for dinner and think, “I’m really hungry for some alligator tonight!” is never. HOWEVER, I will admit that when spiced right, a rubbery chunk of gator can turn out quite tasty.

I made this recipe with alligator jowls and the alligator sausage I made back in October, the gator being caught by Gary, Sam, and Jason. If you happen to be in the Mardi Gras mood, and have some extra gator in your freezer to use, this is the recipe for you! If not, chicken and sausage will work just fine.

Ingredients:

3 T olive oil
3 T flour
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 10 oz. package okra, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 t dried thyme
1 t dried oregano
2 t salt
1/4 t fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 t cayenne
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1 quart chicken broth
1 lb alligator (or 1 lb chicken)
1/2 lb alligator sausage (or 1/2 lb smoked sausage cut into slices)
3/4 c rice

Instructions:

First, start the rice. Add 1 1/2 cups water to your rice, and turn the heat on high. Turn down heat after it comes to a boil. Next, in a large stainless-steel pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Whist in the flour and cook until the mixture starts to brown, about 4 minutes. (This is a rue, and it should look like the consistency of peanut butter.) Reduce the heat to moderately low, and throw in the onion, celery, and pepper. Cook until it begins to soften, or about 7 minutes. Add the okra, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and tomatoes.

In a separate dish, cook the chopped gator (or chicken) and sausage. It’s best to cook them separately. Once each is done, throw them in the gumbo.

Once everything is done, it’s ready to eat (although, like all soups, it increases in flavor if it’s left to simmer for an hour longer or so.) Serve by adding a mound of rice to each bowl.

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