Frogs’ Legs

Cuisses de Grenouilles

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Fresh frogs’ legs should be well rinsed and sponged dry. They are often only available deep frozen, a treatment from which they suffer less than most uncooked flesh; they may be plunged into cold water to be unfrozen and then sponged dry.

Frogs’ legs occasionally take the quaint name of “nymphs’ thighs,” a designation imagined by Escoffier to shield the sensibilities of an English clientèle, who theoretically held frogs in horror. They are most often sautéed à la Provençale; à la Lyonnaise, the persillade is replaced by chopped or finely sliced onions cooked in butter apart, parsley is sprinkled over, and a bit of vinegar, heated in the pan, is dribbled over; aux fines herbes, they should be sautéed in butter and finished with chopped parsley, tarragon, chervil, and chives and a bit of lemon, but, in practice, it is usually an alternate appellation for à la Provençale. À la Poulette, the frogs’ legs are poached in a white-wine court bouillon that is then transformed into a velouté and finished with egg yolks. They may be marinated with chopped fines herbes, a bit of lemon juice, a few drops of olive oil, and salt and pepper, then dipped in batter and deep fried.