A while ago, perhaps five or six months ago, I purchased three pairs of frog legs, and stored them in the freezer. Sunday night I decided to have a go at them.
Frog legs can be made a variety of styles: Cajun, Chinese, or the very popular: French, especially Provencal. I went with French — simple and quick to do. By the way, you can also prepare your escargot this way (usually without the mushrooms), just omit the flour or potato starch, and cook them less amount of time.
Prep time: Maybe 10 minutes (+ 1.5 hours of frog legs marinating in the milk)
Cook time: 16-20 minutes + 5 additional for the mushrooms
Rest time: What’s that?
Serves: 1 as a main. 2 as a side.
Frog Legs French Style, with Mushrooms
- 3 pairs of frog legs
- Around 6 medium-sized white mushrooms (if you have porcini or chanterelles or even baby bellas, go ahead and use those, an equivalent amount), sliced.
- About 1/3 cup milk, or buttermilk
- About 1/3 cup potato starch
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 handful curly parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (a couple sprigs if you have fresh thyme)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons ghee (or other high-smoke point oil or fat)
- 1.5 tablespoons butter
- OPTIONAL, a wedge of lemon for each person, as a garnish on the side at the end.
I am assuming your frog legs are skinned and cleaned up. You’ll want to cut the two legs from each pair apart from each other (scissors or knife). You can cut off the paw tips, but I wasn’t being fancy, and there could be a little meat down there.
Soak them for a while in the milk or buttermilk in the fridge — I used milk and waited only an hour and a half, and towards the end of that time I finished up the rest of the prep. Laid out the potato starch in a dish for coating (mixed in the thyme, salt and pepper), chopped up the parsley, peeled and chopped the garlic, and put the rest of the mise en place (mess in place?) in place.
Coat the legs in a fine layer of the seasoned starch, set aside.
Melt the ghee in a skillet large enough to hold all the legs, at medium/medium high.
Add the mushrooms, and stir them around 3 – 5 minutes, until they are nearly done.
Add the legs to the skillet, and use a splatter guard to cover. Pan fry on one side for 8-10 minutes, then when the bottom starch is turning light brown, flip them individually and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until light brown.
Meanwhile, while the legs are cooking, use a small sauce skillet or pan to melt the butter, add in the parsley and garlic (and perhaps a touch more salt and pepper should you wish). When the butter starts bubbling, stir and mix with a spatula, then reduce heat to a bare simmer, which it can stay at until your frog legs are ready.
Plate with a teaspoonful or so of butter sauce on each leg, and serve, with the optional lemon wedge. A nice salad with a red wine vinaigrette with French herbs and maybe a few apple or pear slices would make a good side.
So, what do frog legs taste like?
Well, let’s rephrase the usual answer — chicken tastes like frog legs! Frog legs are very tender and lean, so perhaps the best of the dark and the white meat?
The recipe I looked at for inspiration: French Fried Frog Legs, by Hank Shaw, the author of those wonderful foraging cookbooks, Hunt, Gather, Cook and Duck, Duck, Goose. Frog legs are not inexpensive – so maybe, if you are in that locale, you can take a page out of his blog and forage for bullfrogs in areas such as the Lake Tahoe region (as Shaw did) where they are being problematically invasive.
There are some things that should not be resisted…
Tell Em Tuesdays… — this foodie sharing party is going on hiatus after this week.
Fiesta Friday… — Time for a Fiesta!
Real Food Fridays… — Yep, it’s real!
Savory Saturdays… — always savory (sometimes sweet)!