Deep-Fried Frog Legs
Source of Recipe
From "The Heritage of Southern Cooking" by Camille Glenn
"Very small (the smaller the better) frog legs that are fresh and have not been frozen are a real delicacy. And they're the only frog legs that should be considered. The tiny, flavorful legs when fried in deep fat to a golden, crisp, and crunchy brown make an appealing hot hors d'oeuvre as well as a light supper. Served with a crisp green salad, they make a charming light entrée for a brunch or a summer evening supper party."
List of Ingredients
36 small frog legs
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled (optional)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for deep-fat frying
Delicate Frog-Leg Frying Batter (recipe follows)
Tartar sauce or mustard mayonnaise, for serving
Watercress, for serving
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Divide each frog leg into two pieces. Marinate the frog legs in the lemon juice and garlic, tossing them frequently, for 1 hour. Dry the frog legs well with paper towels. Season with salt and white pepper.
In an extra-heavy pan, such as black iron, or an electric deep-fat fryer, heat 4 inches of oil (not over half the depth of the pan or fryer) to 365°F. (If a cube of bread dropped into the fat sizzles at once and browns in 30 seconds, the fat is ready.)
Using a cooking fork, dip the legs one at a time into the batter, holding them over the batter to allow the excess to drip off. Plunge them immediately into the fat, no more than three at a time (they must not be crowded). Fry until golden brown on both sides (you may need to turn them). Tiny frog legs will take about 2 minutes. Drain at once on paper towels. Serve immediately on a platter with a bowl of tartar sauce or mustardy mayonnaise in the center. Garnish the dish with the watercress and wedges of lemon.
Serves 18 as an hors d'oeuvre; three to four as a light entrée.
Delicate Frog-Leg Frying Batter:
¾ cup cold beer or ice water
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (or cake flour is splendid)
3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
3 egg whites
Place the beer or water in a large mixing bowl or in a food processor. Add the flour and mix very fast either with a whisk, or an electric mixer, or in the processor. (Working fast prevents the gluten in the flour from becoming overworked and rubbery). Add the butter, salt and cayenne.
Cover the batter and refrigerate it for one hour to relax the gluten.
Just before using, beat the extra egg whites until they hold a stiff peak. Gently fold them into the batter. The batter should be the consistency of very thick cream; add a small amount of ice water, if needed.
Butterflied raw shrimp or chicken wings (drumettes) can be prepared and served the same way. Cook the shrimp at 375°F and the chicken at 365°F. Both will need four to five minutes cooking time.