Cooking the Unthinkable: Chitlins

Cooking the Unthinkable is a series that examines some of the more eccentric ingredients. Whether you are a fan of the bizarre or are preparing for the eminent collapse of Western society this series will help you better stomach weird food.

Plate of ChitlinsFew ingredients trigger as many dry heaves as chitlins.  Also known as chitterlings these stringy morsels of porcine protein have been treated with disdain by most of the so-called civilized world.  But cleaned and prepared properly they can prove to be very tasty especially when paired with other soul food favorites like collard greens and cornbread.  That being said, I don’t think I would fix them for any special occasion diners like Mother’s Day of Valentine’s.  Just sayin’.

But just what are chitlins?  Well according to Wikipedia, “Chitterlings (sometimes spelled chitlins or chittlins in vernacular) are the intestines of a pig that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious festivities.”

Uncle Lou's ChitlinsI have never actually cooked chitlins.  The smell during cooking is said to be oppressive.  I have eaten them though and they were pretty tasty.  However, they were not tasty enough for me to permeate every fabric in my home with the aroma of pig intestines.  If you have an open cooking area (like a desert) or you are olfactorlly challenged you may want to give this recipe a try.  It’s from Uncle Lou’s Chitlins, the premiere purveyor of chitterlings in America – the Cadillac of pig entrails.

Uncle Lou’s Chitlins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 – 5 Lbs Bag of Uncle Lou’s Super Clean Chitlins
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Cup diced Celery
  • 1 Cup diced Onions
  • 2 Tablespoons Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and clean chitlins to desired cleanliness.
  2. In a stock pot completely cover with water and boil for approx 1 hour.
  3. Drain water and again cover with fresh water, add all additional ingredients and boil until tender (approx 1 ½ to 2 hours).

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
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