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Frog Legs, Provençal-Style

I grew up in southern Indiana eating frog legs. This recipe combines the memories of my childhood with a French culinary aesthetic.

plate of frog legs with tomato sauce

Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

Enjoy the frog legs with some homemade marinara sauce, but beware of the tiny bones!

I grew up eating frog legs. You can even buy them from the big box grocery store near my hometown.

Some people don’t care for what they call the muddy taste of frog legs. Soaking them in buttermilk will solve that.

Something to be aware of if you’re new to frog legs is the many bones in them. There are two big bones that should be eaten around, just like chicken wings. As for the other small bones, I just chew them up right along with the meat. But perhaps that’s something only the most seasoned frog legs eaters enjoy!

Provençal-Style Frog Legs


  • 10-12 frog legs, 2 ½-3 inches long
  • 1/2 cup buttermillk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bay seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup butter

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, salt and pepper. Submerge frog legs in the buttermilk mixture for one hour. Add one egg to the frog leg mixture and blend. This will help the batter adhere to the frog legs.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cayenne pepper and bay seasoning. Move frog legs from buttermilk into the flour mixture. Coat the frog legs thoroughly in flour.
  3. Add ¼ inch of oil to a pan on high heat. Wait for the oil to heat up, then cook the frog legs for 90 seconds on each side until they get crunchy. Place cooked frog legs on a platter and set aside.
  4. Drain the oil from the pan and discard. Place the pan back on low heat. Add parsley, remainder of garlic, remainder of lemon zest and butter to the hot pan. Melt and combine. Add frog legs back into the pan and coat with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve frog legs immediately with marinara sauce and a wedge of lemon.

raw frog legs with bread crumbs

Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

Chef Daniel Orr grew up eating frog legs. These frog legs will be breaded and deep fried.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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