Deep Fried Crocodile
Alright, let’s face it.. Deep Fried Crocodile isn’t exactly something you would see at the dinner table in any Canadian home, let alone the bald prairies from which I reside. We are used to a far more less exotic deep fried dish, chicken tenders.
That’s not saying that it doesn’t have a place, because it should and it does..in my house anyways.
Many compare the flavour of crocodile and alligator similar to that of the above mentioned farmhouse chicken. Now I do not disagree with some of the flavour similarities, I do find however that it is far closer in flavour to frog legs. Texture is similar as well. I see no reason to compare this tasty treat to the chicken outside of the use of it to convince a skeptic that they do indeed taste delightful. Texture is similar to frog as well and if that is also an area unexplored to you, let’s just say the North American Pike (Jack fish, however I do not use that name often as it is wrong and a completely different fish all together). If someone was to ask what the texture of crocodile tail was like, I’d simply say dense pike. are
Chicken has that neutral flavour, well suited for additions from the outside to make it palatable. It really doesn’t taste like much. It’s what you do to it that makes it so good. It’s boring on its own. Crocodile is different. It does have some elements that set it apart and make it worth trying. It’s sweet. Not sweet like sugar, but a mild little snap of that taste we all just love.
Therefore, you could easily whip this recipe up, lay it in front of your unsuspecting guests and nobody would be the wiser, unless of course you were entertaining someone from the deep south, where this is a staple.
Oddly enough, my first experience with crocodile was not done south. It was right here in Manitoba at a campground restaurant. I was merely 10 years old and the thought of eating something I just watched on Peter Pan was intriguing me to me. I’ve always been this way. Wanting to try something new. I rarely order safe at restaurants and always pick out the one thing that just pops off the menu as something different. It should come as no surprise to my parents that I got into this line of work.
SERVING SIZE & TIME:
This recipe should serve 4-6 people and should only take 2.5 hours (including preperation)
- 1 lb crocodile tail fillet
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1 c. panko
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper
- salt & pepper
- juice of 1/2 lime
- lime zest
- fresh cilantro
- canola oil for frying
- Start of by heating up your deep fryer and brining it up to temperature
- Begin prepping your crocodile tail by removing it from the package and rinsing it under cold water. (If it came frozen, be sure to thaw it out in the fridge over night and not on your counter).
- Place the tail on a cutting board and cut into bit sized pieces roughly 1″-2″ in size.
- Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl or freezer bag.
5. Mix the panko, flour and spices together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
6. Once they are done, remove from the hot oil and place on paper towel.
7. Squeeze lime juice over them as well shred some lime zest.
8. Top with fresh cilantro and serve alongside a homemade spicy aioli.
I highly recommend, if given the opportunity, give crocodile or alligator a try. You will not be sorry.
The following is my take on the southern dish I experienced a few short years ago. It is a deep fried crocodile recipe that incorporates buttermilk in the same fashion as the well known chicken tenders.
Fried until a golden crispy brown, these bite size snacks will impress even the most hardened skeptic. It passed the test with my kids, and they are tough to please at the dinning room table.
Come along for this ride, find yourself some crocodile tail and get frying. See how we did LIVE on our Youtube Channel!