“A short man stood in an arched doorway, grilling chunks of snake over a brazier, turning them with wooden tongs as they crisped. The pungeant smell of his sauces brought tears to the knight’s eyes. The best snake sauce had a drop of venom in it, along with mustard seeds and dragon peppers.” -A Feast for Crows

Grilled Snake

Our Thoughts:

After the shock factor faded, we were able to sit down and appreciate the snake for what it was. While many people claim that snake tastes just like chicken, we beg to differ. A bit. The texture is similar to chicken, but a slightly overcooked one, so the texture is slightly firm. It’s almost reminiscent of a dried sausage, given the leanness of the meat and its density.

The flavor, admitedly, does share some similarities with chicken. But this is only insofar as both chicken and snake are relatively mild tasting, almost designed to showcase whatever they are served with. In this case, the sauce is the real show stopper. Warm, rich, with a bit of a bite to it, the sauce is subtly exotic. However, it is not so strong that it overpowers the flavor of the snake, instead complimenting the slight gaminess of the meat.

In short, this is a cool recipe that’s now in the cookbook. And eating snake is badass. Do it.

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30 Responses to Grilled Snake

  1. roussefolle says:

    such a cool recipe(and beautifull photo). unfortunately(for me) all species of snakes are protected by polish law. well, challange accepted! i’m going to find worthy replacement.

  2. duckchick says:

    Wow!! Here in Texas we have the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup every year, and rattlesnake meat is readily available. I’ll have to get it de-boned, though. I’ve heard they’re very bony!

  3. Jon Merrow says:

    I wouldn’t know where to begin looking for snake meat here in Atlanta, short of venturing out and trying to catch my own, which ain’t happening! Though, that would allow for venom in the sauce!

  4. gabigutz says:

    You ladies sure know how to make me wonder if I can find ingredients here in Cali….

  5. Ian Hayano says:

    Beautiful presentation. I’d love to try this, if I only I could procure the snake..

  6. Carolyn H. says:

    I’d love to hear about your source for rattlesnake and other unusual ingredients. (Acutally, while I love the blog as is, what’s most interesting to me is how the project came together. I’d love to know about the “behind the scenes” challenges that you experienced while making these dishes — challenges like finding a snake and deboning it.)

  7. How much snake would you need per serving?
    I’m guessing you did a 2-person dish?

    • Needs Mead says:

      We had a 2 lb. snake, and shared it amongst 4 people. It’s less of a main course, and more of a show-stopper dish, especially with the amount of effort it takes to pick the bones out. I highly recommend supplementing the snake with another white meat that will be both more filling, and an excuse to eat more of the amazing sauce.

  8. Eric says:

    Yuke, I would of died of starvation back in those days. Give me a cow or swine and I’m fine.

  9. Thanks for saying that it does NOT taste like chicken. Alligator doesn’t either. Snake and ‘gator have their own tastes, even though it IS mild and very adaptive to additions and sauces, just like chicken.

    And it’s getting time for meat pies, I’m going to try both the recipes you posted a while ago. My family thought both the recipes looked good AND we have lovely meat from our raised-to-order steer. Grass-fed, well-treated cattle, respected and raised for beef in a kind way. the meat is so much nicer than anything I’ve ever gotten from the grocery store, even the high-class butcher on Ward Parkway (McGonigle’s).

    And thank you always for your blog.

    Paula Helm Murray
    in Kansas City, MOO

  10. Mad Dog says:

    I’m looking forward to trying snake one day – I lived in the States some time ago and sadly didn’t realise that it was possible to eat rattlers.

  11. NavyChick2781 says:

    As someone born and raised in Florida on both Gator and Rattler meat, I can’t WAIT to try this recipe!!! And as stated by a previous commenter THANK YOU for not cheapening the wonderful flavor of snake by saying that it “Tastes like Chicken”.

  12. I am both grossed out and amazed!

  13. Sandy in Fishy says:

    Here in Australia all snakes are protected by law, unless they are an immediate threat to you. We had a big copperhead (not the US sort, the Aussie sort) on our veranda, so we whacked it. We peeled the skin off to cure and keep, and then decided we may as well eat it. We marinaded it for several hours then fried it in a pan. I can honestly say it really DID taste just like chicken, although it was so tough it was like chewing on a chicken-flavoured bicycle tyre, and we both gave up. Even the cat gave up. When my husband was talking about it at work, a colleague from Vietnam laughed and said “you can’t fry snake! you have to chop it into small pieces and stew it!” Maybe rattlesnake has much, much more tender flesh than our snakes?

  14. I have enjoyed snake on several occasions, it is a lot of work to prepare, but so worth the effort. my Sauce, and yes most of the magic is in the Sauce, is usually Plum and Lime, flavored with bacon drippings. Yumzo!

  15. Tracy says:

    My husband swears by orange sauce for snake

  16. myfaireldy says:

    I am going to have to try this out. Though I suspect that finding a rattlesnake in RI will prove an interesting challenge. Equally challenging will be getting my housemates to eat it.

  17. a a says:

    snakes are thin which means you can season it a bit more than other meat

  18. nschattman says:

    Made with Vinho Verde the sauce works well with fish and tofu/veggies. Whether made with red or white the sauce combines nicely with cream cheese to make a spicy dip.

  19. Eric says:

    Would using copperhead or cottonmouth change the dish noticeably? I would think if either did it would be the water moccasin because of the aquatic nature.

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