While one species of frog (Conraua goliath) can grow to 7 pounds, the edible frogs of commerce are generally less than 1 pound. While frog eating is commonly associated with France, they are much more commonly eaten in the U.S. South and Midwest, the Caribbean, Argetina, Uruguay, Africa, China and Southeast Asia. In most cases only the hind legs are eaten though in some areas for some species the back is also used.
Frozen frog legs from China and Vietnam are now common in North
American markets serving local Asian communities. In Europe the most
eaten frog is the Edible Frog (Rana kl. esculenta). In the North
American the most eaten frog is the American Bull Frog (Rana
catesbeiana), a very large frog that can grow to 1.5 pounds and is
farmed in some regions. Photo ©
So, does frog really taste "just like chicken"? Well, only if one of your chicken's grandmothers was messing around with a fish - it has just a faint suggestion of fish flavor. The flesh is mild and less stringy than chicken, more like Alligator, actually.
Buying: While frog and frog legs have long been available in the American South (Louisiana, and around there) and in certain parts of the Midwest, they are now easily available wherever there is a substantial Chinese or Southeast Asian community. Asian legs are from aquaculture frogs which are somewhat lighter in flavor than wild frogs and less likely to carry salmonella and parasites.
Frog legs are generally sold by count - how many pairs makes a pound. Counts range from 2/4 for the largest and 16/20 for the smallest but 4/6 and 6/8 are the most common ranges. In some regions the legs will have the backbone and back muscles attached to the legs ("saddle on"), but those from Asia do not.
Subst: Chicken wings (skin them).
Storing: Fresh frog legs should be eaten within 2 days. Frozen they can be safely kept for 6 months.
Prep: If you buy your frog legs frozen, they're cleaned, skinned and ready to go. You may wish to cut the pairs into individual legs which makes cooking easier, and may wish to cut off the bony feet. Soak small legs in several changes of water. If the legs are large scald them about 2 minutes in boiling salted water acidulated with lemon juice (1/4 cup per quart) or citric acid.
If you caught your own frogs, you'll have to cut out the legs and skin them. Frog is never cooked "skin-on" and the skin is sometimes toxic.
Cooking: Frog cooks quite quickly, 20 to 30 minutes at a simmer depending on size. When it is done the legs will separate into separate joints and the meat will start to fall off the bones.