Introduction: Louisiana Style Paella With Pond Critters
I came up with this dish trying to find a way to serve frogs legs, duck and crawfish together in a "pond critter" inspired dish. I didn't really know how to serve it though, then a friend was talking about paella and my culinary light bulb went off. I hope you enjoy it!
1/2 pound of bonesless/semi skinless duck meat using both legs and breasts cut up into 1 inch cubes
1 pound whole crawfish (raw or live would be best. I couldn't find any, so I used pre-cooked frozen)
5 pairs of frogs legs, split so you have 10 individual legs
3/4 cups each of diced up white onion/green bell pepper/celery (the holy trinity)
3/4 cup of diced tomatoes (skinned and de-seeded, canned works fine too)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup dry short grain rice
3 or more cups of stock (veggie or chicken work fine, I had a homemade turkey/rabbit stock so I used that)
Cajun Seasoning (store bought or homemade. Homemade recipe below)
1 package of Saffron
1 tablespoon each of
Step 1: Sear the Duck
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and in an oven ready 12 inch pan (paella pan preferred, but I don't have one so I used this big one shown) heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium high heat.
Spice the duck chunks with a teaspoon of the spice mixture and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sear two minutes the on both sides. Remove the meat and set aside leaving the fat in the pan.
(note, the duck is still very raw in the middle. we will finish cooking the duck later)
Step 2: Saute the Vegetables
Bring the heat down to medium low and add the trinity (onion/peppers/celery), about a teaspoon of the cajun seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sauté stirring occasionally. Cook until the onions turn golden and the everything gets nicely caramelized and fragrant about 8-10 minutes.
In a separate pot, heat up the stock to a simmer
When veggies are nicely caramelized add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 3 to four minutes stirring fairly often to ensure the garlic doesn't burn.
Step 3: Cooking the Rice
Add the rice into the pan with the cooked vegetables and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until the rice is covered in the oil and get slightly browned.
Add 2 cups of stock and saffron. Bring to a boil, cover (use lid if available, if not just use foil) and let cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
Remove the cover and add the duck chunks with any liquid that has come from the resting meat. Cover again and cook until the rice is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 10-30 minutes depending on the rice.
You may need to add more stock if the rice has absorbed it all. You do want a little extra liquid to ensure the dish doesn't dry out.
Step 4: Finished the Dish
When the rice is cooked add the frogs legs and let cook for 2-4 minutes in the rice and stock. Then add the crawfish.
Place into the 350 degree oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until everything is hot and the rice has made a bit of a crust on the bottom of the pan.
Step 5: Serve and Enjoy!
Paella is fun dish where your fingers are as important as a your fork in order to eat it. So rip off those crawfish tails, suck on the heads and use your fingers to eat the frogs legs right off the bone!
I hope you enjoy the dish and I hope your local pond inspires you like mine inspired me!
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