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Nashville Hot Alligator Recipe

Sam Kohler 

Paying homage to my college town of Nashville, I found it only fitting to bring a Nashville twist to the classic deep fried alligator that many have grown to enjoy. Nashville style hot chicken is a staple in the music city and I have grown to enjoy it in all the levels of heat it comes in. Due to the fact that I am not trying to scorch the mouths of those who try this recipe, I have made the sauce much more sweet and milder so that you can truly enjoy the flavors and textures of deep fried alligator. Alligator meat is highly under-rated when it comes to the culinary possibilities of this wild game meat, and I feel that it is often overlooked due to the accessibility of this large swamp lizard and the misconceptions of its meat flavor and texture. The best way I can describe alligator meat is that it’s a cross between pork and chicken with a porkier texture and a much milder chicken flavor. This being said, it is integral that you remove all the fat from the meat that you can, because alligator fat is not like chicken or pork in that it does not render out and it does not have a desirable flavor. With this in mind, I hope you enjoy this recipe and rethink the potential of alligator in the culinary world and the recipes you create in the future. 

Nashville Hot Alligator Recipe


Base Ingredients 

  • Alligator Tail Loin
  • Vegetable Oil (Peanut, Corn, or Canola) 
  • Alligator Marinade
  • 1 Quart Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Dill Pickle Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Hot Sauce (Louisiana or Frank's)
  • 2 Eggs 

Flour Mixture

  • 4.5 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 Cups of Corn Starch
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tony's Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Celery Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Slap Ya Mama Seasoning

Nashville Sweet Heat Oil 

  • 3 Tablespoons Cayenne
  • 1 Shallot, Graded
  • 6 Gloves Garlic, Graded
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Cup of Hot Oil 
  • 1 Stick of Salted Butter

Nashville Hot Alligator Recipe


1. First, begin by combining the buttermilk, pickle juice, and hot sauce in a bowl with two eggs and mix them thoroughly. 
2. Then place the alligator tail loin or jelly roll into the mixture. You can either place the whole loin into the marinade and cut them into pieces later or you can cut the tail into 1-1.5 in thick slices and place them into the marinade. 
3. Let the alligator sit in the marinade for 3-24 hours depending on the time you have available. 
4. Mix all the breading ingredients together in a bowl thoroughly and feel free to spice it up even more if you would like. 
5. Get your oil of choice hot (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and then double bread the alligator tail meat pieces by dunking them between the buttermilk mixture and breading twice. 
6. Fry the alligator pieces and then set them on a fry rack to rid the alligator of extra oil. 
7. Grade garlic and 1 shallot into a bowl and then pour one cup of the hot fry oil over the graded garlic and shallot. 
8. Once the oil cools down and stops bubbling add the remaining seasonings, honey, and a stick of butter to the mixture and thoroughly mix the oil till it turns blood red. 
9. Finally, plate the alligator on a piece of wonder bread and douse it in sauce and enjoy with some dill pickles! 

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