My wife and I do not adhere to any strict diet – how many fad diets have presented themselves in the last decade? – but one thing we do feel strongly about, is how and where our food comes from. If you have ever priced organic or local food, you know it is expensive – almost to the point that it is not affordable when you are trying to recover from school loans and a mortgage. Consequently, we have taken on a few chickens (hens, the roosters are in the freezer) and rabbits.
I am a big fan of rabbit. It is a fairly versatile meat – you can do anything with rabbit you can do with chicken, and all things considered, they are easy to raise and dress (unlike meat chickens). Until recently, my wife was not such a big fan, but went along anyway.
Because I do not mind chewing on a whole carcass, I always left the rabbits whole and roasted them or put them into casseroles or stews and sucked the bones clean like the old timers in Red Hook sucking chicken wings clean. The last time I processed, my wife convinced me to section the rabbits. At first I was a bit contrary to this idea as it meant more work for me, but after cooking them with the following recipe, I am glad I went along.
The following recipe (if it can be called that) is for a whole rabbit sectioned though it is easier cooking wise if you use the same parts.
In a zip lock bag add a small handful of crisped rice, or some other cereal. If you have stale bread, or bread crumbs from baking, those work well too (it is what we use). Add to the bag spices to your liking. I like to use cumin, coriander, file powder, garlic, and cayenne. Add your rabbit bits and shake until coated, then put them in a deep pan. Most recipes will tell you to slather on the butter at this point, but if you have the option you can use rendered rabbit fat which I prefer to anything I have tried at this point. Coconut oil also works well.
Bake the rabbit bits at 375 for anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on the bits you have used – boneless loins will cook quickly, thick meaty hind legs will take a full 40 minutes. Use your judgement and do not over cook. Thank your rabbit and enjoy.