Recipe: Frog Leg Piccata

There are so many possibilities for preparing frog legs (deep fry, pan fry, bake, broil, etc), and I finally decided to do a derivation of a chicken piccata recipe.  This dish served two people with unfortunately no leftovers. 

Ingredients for frog leg preparation:

  • 1lb American bullfrog legs skinned, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove of garlic minced

Instructions for frog leg preparation:

  1. Melt butter over low medium heat
  2. Add minced garlic and heat until aromatic
  3. Mix flour, garlic powder, chili powder, and paprika
  4. Salt and pepper both sides of frog legs  
  5. Dredge frog legs in flour mixture and shake off excess
  6. Raise heat of the garlic and butter pan to medium (not too hot to burn garlic)
  7. Pan fry floured frog legs until one side is golden brown, then flip and do the same to the other side (about 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness of legs; take care not to overcook!)  
  8. Remove frog legs from heat and set on paper towels

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 lb of crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 can quartered artichokes
  • 10 – 15 grape tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls spinach leaves

Instructions from sauce:

  1. After removing frog legs from heat, melt remaining butter
  2. Add chopped shallots and minced garlic, heat until shallots are soft and translucent and garlic is aromatic
  3. Pour in white wine to deglaze the pan (also makes for easy clean up!)
  4. Heat until white wine has reduced to half the volume
  5. Add capers, lemon juice, and mushrooms
  6. Cook mushrooms until browned on both sides
  7. Add artichokes and tomatoes, cook for another 2-3 minutes
  8. Turn down heat to low and add spinach.  Toss until all the leaves are covered in sauce.
  9. Allow to simmer and top with pan fried frog legs when ready to serve.

I served it with a fresh loaf of sourdough bread (perfect for sopping up the piccata sauce) and a steamed artichoke.  The frog legs turned out very lean and mild in flavor, though distinctly tasting of fish with the texture of poultry.  I would not say, “it tastes just like chicken,” but that simile isn’t too far off.  The pile of cleaned frog bones in the end seemed to indicate high approval of this dish.

Finished frog leg piccata (Photo credit: S. Sim)



A self-proclaimed modern day nomad, I was born in the Philippines, grew up in southern California—lived all over really—and now I do research as a graduate student in Indiana and the Pacific Northwest. Professionally speaking, my current area of focus is speciation and ecological genetics and genomics, and a common theme in my various projects over the years is evolution in agricultural systems. As a recipient of a GLOBES—an interdisciplinary program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Integrative Graduate Education, Research, and Traineeship grant (IGERT) —fellowship, I have received training which has better enabled me to view and ponder topics without my science hat on. I take great joy in eating, cooking, and experiencing nature through various activities. I love to travel and anticipate many local and international invasivore field trips! Though my research interests do not directly involve the study of invasive species, I have had my fair share of negative encounters with environmentally noxious organisms in the midst of doing field research. I carry around a machete with which to combat my gnarly “Himalayan” foes, and my machete and I have raised more than a few eyebrows. Apart from my personal vendetta against these deliciously juicy pests, I feel that there are great advantages to linking our awareness of the natural world to our culture, and Invasivore is an avenue to do just that. I feel that an increase in general knowledge of invasive species will be of great benefit to the field of invasive species and conservation biology. Knowledge and awareness will lead to action, and action will lead to results!

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