Gulf Coast Frogs’ Legs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

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.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 12 pairs dressed, plump frogs’ legs, each pair tied together with twine at the first joints
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup regular buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Seeded lemon wedges for garnish

Method

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 ¼ inch of oil over moderately high heat, dip the frogs’ legs in the batter, and, in batches, fry them 3 to 4 minutes on each side or till golden brown. Drain on paper towels, remove and discard the twine, and serve the frogs’ legs hot with lemon wedges.