Frog Leg Sauce Piquante

frog leg 
sauce piquante

Across Louisiana, croaking bullfrogs bellow out the melody of a nighttime swamp song. Bullfrogs also jump to mind when I think about a gastronomic treat that’s borderline crazy in the rest of the country but a normal delicacy around here.

Like many people, I tend to like my frog legs golden-fried and crispy. They’ve become a staple of fried seafood platters anywhere in Louisiana, like the Gulf Platter at Hot Tails in New Roads and Harbor Seafood in Kenner. Jack Dempsey’s in New Orleans serves up a huge plate of fried frog while Juban’s in Baton Rouge has a Frog Leg Vacherie appetizer that’s a play on Buffalo wings 
complete with blue cheese and pickled celery.

Some people say frog legs taste like chicken, and I suppose that’s fair. The lean white meat of the frog reminds me of the “dark” meat on a pasture-raised chicken. It is still slightly tough due to the muscle fibers yet tender enough to just bite into it.

A night on the bayous gigging frogs can work up a powerful hunger. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cook up the catch without a fryer. Frog legs can be grilled, stuffed, or stewed down in a gumbo. The famous Middendorf’s Restaurant on Bayou Manchac broils pairs of legs for their customers. There isn’t a wrong way to cook them. For example, I enjoy a good frog leg 
sauce piquante.

Smothered in the Cajun trinity with a little tomato brightness, this sauce piquante is a great way to celebrate the frog. The dish packs plenty of flavor for a spicy, earthy concoction worthy of the swamp. Give it a try next time you have a batch of frog legs and don’t want to break out the deep fryer. You won’t regret it.

Frog Leg Sauce Piquante
Yields: 4 Servings
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 pairs large frog legs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups seafood stock
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add frog legs, and lightly brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer frog legs to a platter, and set aside.
  2. Add flour to skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, until a tan roux forms, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, salt, and cayenne to skillet; cook until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add tomato, stock, 
hot sauce, thyme, and 
bay leaf. When mixture begins 
to simmer, reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until sauce reduces by a third, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Lay frog legs in sauce, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, basting with sauce. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if needed. Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Remove bay leaf, and serve over rice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.



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