Unbeknownst to most Americans, frogs’ legs are a treasured delicacy all along the Gulf Coast, from Florida to Louisiana—as well as in much of Arkansas. Both the green frogs and bullfrogs that proliferate in this region form the basis for a veritable small industry. While I’ve had very elegant frogs’ legs braised in white wine at finer restaurants, frying or sautéing them in oil or butter is by far the most popular preparation. Although nothing equals the sweet, delicate flavor of fresh frogs’ legs, frozen ones, usually packaged in connecting pairs ranging from 4 to 6 ounces a piece, are more and more available in specialty food markets. (If, by chance, you do find fresh ones, choose those that are plump and slightly pink.) Since their flavor is so subtle, frogs’ legs should be cooked as simply and briefly as possible; overcooking only causes them to toughen.
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, water, onion, and garlic and stir till well blended. Add the frogs’ legs, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the refrigerator about 2 hours.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, egg, and buttermilk and stir till a soft batter forms.
Drain and rinse the frogs’ legs and pat dry with paper towels. In a large, heavy skillet, heat about
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.