A road trip through the small Louisiana town of Ferriday and an encounter with an older gentleman named Raimond introduced me to a Creole version of frog legs. Garlicy and spicy, the meat literally fell off the bone and into the sauce. France to Louisiana Frog Legs combines both the spices of Creole seasonings with the butter sauté of French cooking.
Plan ahead for this recipe. It includes coffee infused bourbon in the sauce. Hard to find but easy to make, the infusion is made by soaking ground coffee with bourbon. Exact proportions are found at Franklin Coffee Bourbon. It takes several weeks for the bourbon to acquire the coffee flavor.
The recipe begins with a frog beer bath that removes any “fishy” taste and tenderizes. Be sure to “cross the legs” for an interesting presentation and to keep the legs from jumping from the pan!
Adding a Sauvignon Blanc wine such as Honig Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford lightens the sauce to provide the perfect balance between the bourbon and the creole seasoning.
Using unsalted butter is important when cooking with bourbon since the spirit enhances the saltiness of other ingredients.
12 pair of large frog legs, fresh or frozen
1 12 oz can beer
1 T + 1 t creole seasoning, divided, such as Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 c flour
6 T unsalted butter, divided
¼ c garlic infused olive oil, divided (can substitute regular extra virgin olive oil and increase garlic by 1 clove)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (add an additional clove if using regular olive oil)
½ c coffee infused bourbon, Franklin Coffee Bourbon
¾ c dry white wine, such as Honig Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford
1 t lemon juice
4 t chives, chopped
1 T lemon zest
With a knife, make a small slit between the meat and the bone on the lower part of one frog leg. Push the lower part of the other leg through the cut to create “crossed legs”. Place frog legs in re-sealable plastic bag. Pour beer over frog legs, seal bag and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove frog legs from plastic bag and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Place on a cutting board. Sprinkle both sides with 1 tablespoon of the creole seasoning and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Put flour in pie plate. In cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2 cloves of garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove garlic and save. Roll frog legs in flour. Working in batches, place frog legs in skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel lined plate.
Heat oven to 300°.
Add remaining butter and olive oil to skillet. Add remaining garlic and reserved garlic; sauté 2 minutes over medium heat, scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet. Turn off heat. Add remaining creole seasoning, bourbon and wine. Turn heat back to medium high and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce reduces by half, about 10 minutes. Place frog legs back into skillet; cover skillet and place skillet into oven. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven and place 3 frog legs on each of four serving plates. Add the lemon juice to the sauce in the skillet. Evenly divide sauce between the four plates.
Evenly sprinkle chives and lemon zest between the four plates.