Alligator & Crab Étouffée

Reddish brown gravy with red and green vegetables on top of of a bit of white rice, topped with white crab meat. All in a round white bowl garnished with parsley and green onions.

How to make Alligator & Crab Étouffée

Well, Pepé is complaining that his arm just about fell off after so much stirring, but that’s part of making this Alligator & Crab Étouffée. You have to make a roux (stir, stir, stir), then you have to stir some more to get the right consistency without burning it. Trust me, it’s all worth it.  

Another Great Mardi Gras or Cajun Recipes…

Chicken & Seafood Gumbo

colorful bowl of seafood & chicken gumbo in a white bowl
This Gumbo has chicken, andouille, shrimp and scallops. I’m not a fan of okra, but you’re welcome add it among the other veggies.

Mock Crab Cakes with Spicy Creole Rémoulade

Crab cake mound on a round white plate with a square ramekin of pale yellow sauce, a lemon wedge and some parsley. There's a nutcracker in the background who looks like a chef.
Although these are mock crab cakes made with Lion’s Mane Mushrooms, you can follow the same recipe using Jumbo Lump Crab Meat. Just don’t worry about cooking the crab before assembling. You still need to bake (not fry) them.

Health Benefits of Alligator Meat

Alligator meat is high in protein and very low in fat. 3.2 ounces has 46 grams of protein and 0 saturated fat. Read more information here.

What does Alligator Meat Taste Like? 

Well, we all have our own opinions, but my husband and I agree that it tastes like chicken and fish all at the same time. It has a similar texture of shrimp. It’s really delicious and I don’t know why people don’t eat more of it.

 If you’re still not into gator, you can use crawfish, shrimp, or crab.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Chop all your vegetables so you have them ready to add to the roux.

Red bell pepper sliced vertically in half. It looks like a face and the seeds are the teeth.
Pepé and I always laugh at bell peppers when they look like this, so we added slits for eyes. LOL
Piles of chopped red bell pepper, celery, yellow onion, green jalapeno and minced garlic.
Onion, celery and bell peppers make up the holy trinity of cajun cooking.

Heat a dutch oven or large high sided skillet on high. To make the roux, add butter and flour to the pan. Stir this together quickly to form a paste and remove any lumps. Use a whisk or a wooden spatula with a straight bottom edge, making sure to get in the edges of the pan. 

Flour and butter being mixed in a white dutch oven with a wooden spatula.

Once that is done, turn heat down to medium and continue to stir and scrap every bit of the roux, to prevent it from burning. It will transform from a paste to a liquid. *If it starts to burn or steam, turn heat down some more. If you burn it, and you’ll know it, and you’ll have to start over with a clean pan. 

Image showing a pale yellow roux on the left, and a light reddish brown roux on the right.

The roux will darken as it continues to cook. Once it has reached a dark golden  color (*see picture above), add all the chopped vegetables and keep stirring for a few more minutes. All of that can take quite a while (20 minutes or more), so don’t get discouraged or impatient. 

Chopped red bell pepper, onion, celery, jalapeno and minced garlic in a white dutch oven.  There's a nutcracker in the foreground who looks like a chef.

Turn heat back up to high, whisk in the crab stock and keep stirring. Your arm can rest soon. The sauce will come to a boil and start to thicken. Meanwhile, add the pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and a large pinch of salt and some black pepper. Sauce should thicken enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. 

Broth added to roux with mixed veggies for alligator and crab etouffee.
Pale pink alligator meat chunks on a white cutting board.
Alligator meat looks similar to chicken and tastes kinda like a mix between chicken and shrimp. It’s texture is similar to shrimp.

Once sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the alligator meat, and the chopped scallions, reduce the heat and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.

Raw pink alligator meat placed into etouffee sauce.

Add parsley and lemon juice, stir, cook for a minute or two, taste and adjust again if needed. 

One half of a lemon, a pile of chopped parsley, and a chef knife on a wood cutting board.

To serve, place about 1 cup of cooked rice in each bowl, pour a ladle or so over the rice, top with a dollop of crab meat and serve immediately. Crab meat can be served room temp or slightly heated for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

If you prefer, you can add the crab meat directly to the étouffée at the very last minute, but the presentation is nicer when you can see it on top. 

Reddish brown gravy with red and green vegetables on top of of a bit of white rice, topped with white crab meat. All in a round white bowl garnished with parsley and green onions.

Bon Appétit

Reddish brown gravy with red and green vegetables on top of of a bit of white rice, topped with white crab meat. All in a round white bowl garnished with parsley and green onions. There's a nutcracker in the foreground who looks like a chef.

Alligator & Crab Étouffée

Stacey Mincoff
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Creole
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 548 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 Pound Alligator Meat not sausage, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 Pound Crab Meat lump crab, king crab, snow crab, crawfish, shrimp, or more alligator…
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion chopped
  • 4 Large Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Clarified Butter or Ghee regular butter will also work, but it burns easier
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1-2 Celery Ribs chopped
  • 1 Jalapeño finely chopped
  • 4 Cups Crab or Shrimp Stock or any seafood stock
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Scallions
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley rough chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Serve over cooked rice about 1 cup cooked rice per person or more if you want

Instructions
 

  • Heat a dutch oven or large high sided skillet on high. To make the roux, add butter and flour to the pan. Stir this together quickly to form a paste and remove any lumps. Use a whisk or a wooden spatula with a straight bottom edge, making sure to get in the edges of the pan. 
  • Once that is done, turn heat down to medium and continue to stir and scrap every bit of the roux, to prevent it from burning. It will transform from a paste to a liquid. *If it starts to burn or steam, turn heat down some more. If you burn it, and you’ll know it, and you’ll have to start over with a clean pan. 
  • The roux will darken as it continues to cook. Once it has reached a dark golden  color (*see picture), add all the chopped vegetables and keep stirring for a few more minutes. All of that can take quite a while (20 minutes or more), so don’t get discouraged or impatient. 
  • Turn heat back up to high, whisk in the crab stock and keep stirring. Your arm can rest soon. The sauce will come to a boil and start to thicken. Meanwhile, add the pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and a large pinch of salt and some black pepper. Sauce should thicken enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. 
  • Once that happens, add alligator meat, and chopped scallions, reduce the heat and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Add parsley and lemon juice, stir, cook for a minute or two, taste and adjust again if needed. 
  • To serve, place about 1 cup of cooked rice in each bowl, pour a ladle or so over the rice, top with a big dollop of crab meat and serve immediately. Crab meat can be served room temp or slightly heated for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.
    If you prefer, you can add the crab meat directly to the étouffée at the very last minute, but the presentation is nicer when you can see it on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 548kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 45gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 868mgPotassium: 378mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 747IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Alligator, Cajun, Dinner, Mari Gras
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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