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Alligator meat is a delicacy here in Louisiana. Years ago, alligator was plentiful, but demand for alligator hide nearly drove them into extinction. Nutria, a relative of the beaver, lacking their natural enemy, have grown in numbers and eat so much vegetation that coastal erosion has become a problem. Cajuns, always frugal with what nature provides, found that alligator meat was tasty - especially the tail for grilling. Conservation and even alligator farming has brought this tasty meat back to our tables.
A sauce piquante (pronounced sos pee-kont) is a highly seasoned stew. Piquante means "to prick" and that's what the spices and flavors do to your tongue in this recipe.
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In a large Dutch oven, saute the meat (not the shrimp!) in a little oil until browned. Remove from pot and set aside.
Chop one of the onions and one of the bell peppers, and saute until tender. Puree these in a blender or food processor and set aside.
Saute the remaining onion and bell pepper with the chiles, celery and garlic.
Add the roux to the sauted vegetables and stir well. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Make sure the roux does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to medium.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire to the vegetables/roux mixture. Then add the onion/bell pepper puree and stir. Season with the Creole seasoning and salt to taste. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, making sure it doesn't stick.
Add the meat, rosemary and thyme and cook for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. If you're using shrimp or seafood, cook for 20 minutes, then add shrimp for the last 10 minutes and cook.
Serve over rice with French bread, green salad, and a bottle of Merlot.
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