Cajun Alligator Sauce Piquant

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Being that I am a native of Louisiana, and also an LSU Tiger fan, I always look forward to football season so that I can make a big pot of alligator sauce piquant for the LSU vs. Florida football game. Geaux Tigers!

Ok I know what you’re thinking… ALLIGATOR?!! Yes my friends, alligator. It tastes just like chicken! Alligator tail meat is white, lean, and can be quite tender and very flavorful. A popular way to cook alligator meat is to fry it or blacken it, but I also love it in a sauce piquant.

In Cajun cuisine, sauce piquant is a spicy tomato-based stew made with any type of meat. You can use chicken, beef, venison, or shrimp, just to name a few. For this recipe I will be using alligator and chicken.

“Piquant” is a French word meaning “to prick or sting,” which is exactly what this stew is supposed to do, in a zesty, flavorful way. The andouille sausage and Cajun pork sausage, in addition to a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, is how I make this sauce piquant pleasantly spicy in flavor.

I acquired this amazing recipe from my dad which is the same way I acquire the majority of my Cajun recipes. My dad is always my go-to expert for any Cajun inspired recipe. Thanks dad!

Now let’s get started! The sooner we get to cookin’ the sooner we can get to eatin’, so below are a few key ingredients that you’ll need…

Key Ingredients in Alligator Sauce Piquant:

Alligator

Alligator meat is a healthy meat due to its high protein and low-fat composition. It is also mild flavored, firm in texture, and in my opinion tastes just like chicken!

You can typically find alligator meat at your local grocery store, specialty store, or meat market. If all else fails, try buying it online or just use chicken instead.

Alligator Meat

Chicken

Whenever I use chicken I like to use skinless boneless thighs. I shower the raw chicken with Cajun seasoning, or salt and pepper, and then sauté in a pan of vegetable oil or olive oil until cooked through. Then I slice or shred the chicken before adding it to the pot of sauce piquant.

To make it easier on yourself you can also pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred the chicken off of the bone.

Cajun Seasoning

You’ll notice that the majority of my recipes will call for Cajun seasoning. If you don’t have Cajun seasoning on hand, check out this recipe for a copycat version of Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning.

Cajun Seasoning

Sausage

The main difference between andouille sausage and regular pork sausage is primarily that andouille is ground more coarse and contains chunks of chopped pork, lots of spice, and is heavily smoked.

I buy my andouille at a meat market called The Best Stop in Scott, Louisiana. I stop by there when I’m passing through from visiting family and friends back home. If you don’t have access to andouille, just add more pork sausage.

Andouille Sausage

My favorite pork sausage for sauce piquant as well as gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans & rice is Savoie’s Hickory Smoked Pork Sausage, but any Cajun smoked pork sausage should work just fine.

Cajun Pork Sausage

Holy Trinity

The vegetables are essentially your “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking. Holy Trinity is a slang term that consists of onions, bell peppers and celery, and is the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana. The preparation of many Cajun/Creole dishes all start from this base.

Holy Trinity: Onions, Pell Peppers, and Celery

Chicken Stock (or any poultry stock)

I like to make my own stock. Every Thanksgiving I take the leftover turkey carcass and boil it, strain it, package it, and freeze it. This way I can use it for anytime I need any kind of poultry-like stock.

You can do this with a chicken carcass as well. For those times when you pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for a quick meal, remember to keep the carcass and make some chicken stock with it.

I find making your own stock gives it more flavor rather than just buying stock from a grocery store. However, you can use chicken stock from a grocery store for this sauce piquant recipe and it will certainly be just as delicious.

Check out my recipe for Homemade Stock here!

Rice

Sauce Piquant should be served over rice. My favorite rice to use is Zatarain’s Long Grain Rice which has a nice fluffy consistency and doesn’t get mushy or stick together.

Now let’s get to cookin’! Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. andouille sausage, sliced
  • ½ lb. pork sausage, sliced
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. alligator meat, sliced
  • 8 oz. can of mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, mild or spicy
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions:

1. In a large pot, sauté andouille and pork sausage over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned.

2. After the sausage has browned remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.

3. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with Cajun seasoning.

4. Add the chicken thighs to the pot and sear the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and sear for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Now, my dad prefers to cut the chicken before he cooks it. He says cooking it this way adds a lot more flavor to the sauce piquant. So, it’s really a personal preference on how you want to cook your chicken. Either way works fine.

5. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a large cutting board. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing or shredding. Set aside.

6. In the same large pot, add oil and flour. Constantly stir over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

7. Once the roux has reached a golden-brown color, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and green onion. Stir and sauté the vegetables in with the roux for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and cooked down.

8. Add garlic and alligator meat to the pot. Stir and cook the alligator meat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until wilted.

9. Add back the andouille, pork sausage, and chicken. Stir.

10. Add the mushrooms, diced tomatoes with green chilies, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, salt, basil, parsley, and bay leaves. Stir until well combined.

11. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.

12. Serve over rice and add a couple of dashes of Tabasco for some extra heat. Enjoy!

If you have any leftover sauce piquant you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

Recipe by Melanie
A Dash of Mel

Alligator Sauce Piquant

Melanie – A Dash of Mel
A spicy tomato-based stew made with alligator and chicken. Andouille sausage and Cajun pork sausage, in addition to a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, is how I make this sauce piquant pleasantly spicy in flavor.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Cajun
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • ½ lb. andouille sausage sliced
  • ½ lb. pork sausage sliced
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 5 celery sticks chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions chopped
  • ¼ cup garlic minced
  • 2 lbs. alligator meat sliced
  • 8 oz. can of mushrooms sliced
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies mild or spicy
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, sauté andouille and pork sausage over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned.
  • After the sausage has browned, remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.
  • Season both sides of the chicken thighs with Cajun seasoning.
  • Add the chicken thighs to the pot and sear the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and sear for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a large cutting board. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing or shredding. Set aside.
  • In the same large pot, add oil and flour. Constantly stir over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Once the roux has reached a golden-brown color, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and green onion. Stir and sauté the vegetables in with the roux for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and cooked down.
  • Add garlic and alligator meat to the pot. Stir and cook the alligator meat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until wilted.
  • Add back the andouille, pork sausage, and chicken. Stir.
  • Add the mushrooms, diced tomatoes with green chilies, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, salt, basil, parsley, and bay leaves. Stir until well combined.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.
  • Serve over rice and add a couple of dashes of Tabasco for some extra heat. Enjoy!

Notes

If you have any leftover sauce piquant you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

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