How to Cook Rabbit

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How to Cook Rabbit

A cute little bunny rabbit may be the last thing that children have in mind for Sunday dinner, but rabbit has long been an important source of protein for many communities for thousands of years.  While rabbit meat is not as popular as chicken or pork or beef, it’s a popular ingredient for many traditional recipes.  Here are some tips to help you cook rabbit to perfection.

The Taste of Rabbit

Some people say that rabbit “tastes like chicken.”  Compared to other meats, rabbit has a savory taste.  Rabbits feed on vegetables and plant life not usually eaten by other sources of meat, which means that the meat acts as a “canvas” for many different flavors.  Rabbit is quite tender compared to other meats, and has a unique texture that works very well for soups, stews, roasts, or casseroles.

Rabbit Meats

Rabbit is usually sold in farmers’ markets, small farms, or specialty meat shops; they are difficult to find in the supermarket.  Many rabbits are farmed and bred for their meat, but most rabbit aficionados prefer rabbit hunted from the wild.

Types of Cooking Rabbits

Rabbit meat sold in markets come in three kinds:

  • Fryers are small, young rabbits below nine weeks old.  They weigh under five pounds, and have very tender meat.  Fryer rabbits are usually prepared for stews and casseroles.
  • Roasters are larger rabbits above nine weeks old and weigh more than five pounds.  Roaster rabbits are typically used for roasts, baked recipes, and grilling.
  • Giblets are the innards of a rabbit.  The heart and liver of a rabbit contains many deep, earthy, complex flavors that are ideal for sauces and gravy.

Rabbit Dishes

Rabbit can be used to make various dishes that can be done with any other common meat:

  • Frying gives the rabbit an excellent texture, while sealing in the natural juices of the meat.
  • Roasting rabbits can impart a very well-developed flavor on the meat, especially if it is roasted with vegetables and other ingredients that highlight the savory taste of rabbit.
  • Stewing and braising are the most popular ways to cook rabbit.  Common ingredients mixed with rabbit stew include carrots, potatoes, celery, bell peppers, onions, and well-made meat stocks (like chicken stock or beef stock).
  • Grilling is great for burgers and meat patties made from ground rabbit meat.
  • Specialty dishes like pâté, pasta dishes, pies, and cacciatore are popular dishes to make with rabbit meat.

Some people may have issues or problems with eating rabbit, but the taste of a good rabbit dish is something a gourmand must try at least once.  With these steps, you can now go to the market for a few pounds of rabbit meat and add a few pounds to your frame with an excellent dish.