On our place, winter’s symphony of quacking and honking waterfowl gives way to spring’s choral ensemble, and this is no more evident than in Mid-April when testosterone fueled, romantically inclined bull frogs begin croaking. Perhaps reminiscent of the suitors in the Barber of Seville in acts played out all around the natural lakes, bayou, canals, and our ecologically farmed rice fields, the chorus of throaty, creaky, baritone and bass voices emanating from low bayou banks and canals simultaneously and alternately permeate the night. Their song is designed to win the heart of a lovely female field frog in the towering rice paddy above, and the competition around our rice paddies is intense and deafening as the suitor’s song fills the still, black, humid air. However, the opera’s main human attendees more often than not come armed, and lucky patrons are treated with a mess of frog legs that give encore performances on your plate. While they are a delicacy fried in the field with Yalobusha River Ale, Abita Amber or Purple Haze, or a Terra Rouge Sauvignon Blanc, they also go nicely in a risotto or fricassee (that recipe on our webpage) and a little pinot grigio. Minimal ingredients elevate the delicate meat and rice flavors.
4 pair bullfrog legs
Seasoning of choice for frog legs
1 ½ cup dry white wine (Pinot grigio perfect), divided
Olive oil for cooking
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup shredded or minced celery
2 small cipollini onions, or ¼ cup Vidalia onion, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
3 scallions, chopped
1 ½ Missimati Bayou Bouquet Fragrant White Rice
¾ cup shredded Parmesan
Juice of half lemon
¼ cup curly leaf parsley, finely chopped, divided
Season, then fry frog legs with preferred method (alternatively, one may consider baking or broiling them with good effect). When done, set aside to cool. When cool, pick meat off bone and pull apart, chopping larger pieces.
In sauté pan, reduce ¾ cup of wine by half. Remove and set aside. In same pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil, then lightly brown garlic. Add cipollini onion, celery, and carrots, sautéing until carrots cooked. Add reduced wine, ½ cup of chicken stock, and frog meat, sautéing until most all liquid is evaporated (this intensifies flavors and further tenderizes meat). Remove and set aside.
In medium stockpot, heat chicken stock for use in risotto. With medium heat, warm 3 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan, then add rice and scallions. Heat and stir until all kernels coated and warmed. Add remaining ¾ wine and stir. When wine is absorbed by rice, add heated stock 1 ladle at a time, stirring rice until stock is absorbed. Add another ladle of stock, repeating this process several times. When rice is about half way cooked (about 10 minutes into process), add frog meat and vegetable ensemble, and ½ of parsley, blending well with additional heated stock. When stock is absorbed, add more and continue this process until rice is cooked to al dente (or your preference). Stir in lemon juice and Parmesan until well blended. Plate and garnish with remaining parsley. Enjoy!