There are two classic methods of cooking frog legs: sauteing them, as in cuisses de grenouilles a la Provencale, or simmering then deep-frying them, as in cuisses de grenouilles a la Parisienne. Sauteing takes less time and requires less cooking fat and fewer ingredients, making it the easiest of the two. Frog legs need to be cooked quickly over high heat or cooked for about an hour in moist heat for tenderness -- anything in between leaves the meat stringy and fibrous in consistency. Frozen frog legs work just as well as fresh as long as you thaw them in the refrigerator first.
Things You'll Need
- Poultry shears
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Sheet pan
- Saute pan
- Olive oil or butter
- Paper towels
- Garlic (optional)
- Parsley (optional)
- Lemon (optional)
Snip the frog legs where the thighs connect to each other using poultry shears. There is a clear seam between the legs that shows you where to position the blades of the shears when you cut.
Pat the frog legs dry with paper towels and season them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the frog legs on both sides in all-purpose flour and set them on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan or tray.
Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil, melted butter or butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When it comes to cooking fats and frog legs, olive oil and butter work equally well. In Provence, olive oil is usually the fat of choice; the closer you get to France, you'll find butter used more often.
Add the frog legs to the skillet, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Cook the legs until golden brown, or about 4 minutes on each side, turning only once.
Transfer the frog legs to a plate lined with paper towels. Transger the legs to the serving dish after they drain. If you have more legs to cook, cook them in batches. If using butter, wipe out the pan and add fresh butter for each new batch.
Add minced garlic and chopped parsley to the saute pan along with a drizzle of olive oil or butter if you want traditional Provencal frog legs. Saute the garlic until fragrant and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Swirl the pan and drizzle the sauce over the frog legs. Serve immediately.
Tips & Warnings
- Frog legs should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thighs when you take them out of the pan.
- The Professional Chef 9th Edition; The Culinary Institute of America