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Kentucky Fried Rabbit

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Was presented with a beautiful new way of cooking rabbit on the weekend -- one that you wouldn't think would work. We had two large old wild buck rabbits. Hostess sectioned them up and boiled them rapidly, covered in chicken stock with a couple of slices of bacon in it until fork tender (about 3/4 hour). When tender it was drained, left to cool until comfortable to handle, then patted dry. Roll in herbed, seasoned flour, then beaten eggs, and finally bread crumbs. Shallow fry in about 1/2 an inch of very hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Eat with anything you like. Excellent!

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  1. With a farm-raised lazy rabbit, you could probably skip the boiling. Fried rabbit was a staple on the few US Navy ships I spent time on. I've tried it myself, but could never get the crust so crispy good.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Shep

      (This will probably get deleted)
      What years were you in the Navy? You never hear about people eating rabbit these days, where I live anyway, unless it is in a restaurant.

      1. re: Spencer

        After 1960 rabbit was cheaper than chicken, then it became less common, now, if you can find any, it's prohibitive. My first husband was from Tennessee and he demanded fried rabbit, smashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy every Sunday. I never, ever had to boil or simmer the rabbit ahead of time because these were farm-raised critters, bought at the super market. I'd love to have a good hassenpfeffer recipe, but who can find a rabbit?

        1. re: Deirdre

          Deidre, Whole Foods carries rabbit. Also, virtually every Asian grocery store stocks both rabbit and quail. (And their prices are significantly cheaper than Whole Foods.) It's time you had your hassenpfeffer fix.

          1. re: Leper

            Leper, I found a frozen rabbit at 99 Ranch Mkt, and about died when I saw the price - about twice what you'd pay for a dressed chicken. So many people during WWII were raising rabbits in their backyard the cost in the markets was piddly, and stayed that way until the 1970s. Now, of course, no one is raising them for consumption, and most have the attitude that the Bambi people do about eating venison. Rabbit has become a luxury, like abalone or lobster. The younger folks today were never served rabbit in their youth, so they don't know what they're missing. Some day, when I feel flush, I might opt to buy a rabbit at 99, and forgo an evening with King Crab legs.

            1. re: Leper

              What is hasenpfeffer? In high school my friends and I used this word to mean STOP!, as in "you're about to smoke the last joint by yourself? Hasenpfeffer!"

          2. re: Spencer

            USMC, actually, but went out a lot on the Guam and got the AKA tour of the Med, mostly in 67. From the quantity of rabbit we got on shipboard, I would assume some rabbit farmer up by Norfolk cut a fat slice on a high hog with a procurement officer. Never saw rabbit in mess halls on shore, so it was one of the few reasons to look forward to going on a float.

        2. Damn, that sounds good!

          Ate an awful lot of wild rabbit as a kid, thanks to my dad's expertise with his little .410. Mom usually floured and browned them in bacon fat, then put in some water and braised them slowly until they were tender and swimming in their own rich gravy. You friend just kind of reversed the process...cool!

          7 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen

            Yummmm . . . I too ate a lot of wild rabbit (also squirrel) as a child growing up in rural Arkansas. I will probably never get to eat it again, as we're not hunters and don't know any. My father was a pharmacist who would sometimes get up in the middle of the night to fill prescriptions for country people, and he would come home with a gift from one of those customers, a large domestic rabbit that my mother would roast for holiday dinners -- also delicious. The last domestic rabbit I bought, frozen, turned out dry and tasteless, even though I stewed it.

            1. re: Sarah C

              Rabbit needs to be braised, I think. Look for a recipe for Lapin au Moutarde - that's a stunner!

              1. re: Will Owen

                There should be one at Saveur.com. There is a delicious recipe in their French cookbook and those snails in parsley sauce ar to die for.

                1. re: Candy

                  I love rabbit but the trick is to buy and butcher them in multiples. The Zuni Cafe cookbook has a very good method. Brilliant.

                  Really the back legs, forelegs, and belly flaps are better braised. The loin is best deboned and a quickly sauteed.

                  Cooking the whole beast the same way really doesn't optimize it.

              2. re: Sarah C

                Do you recall how the squirrel was prepared?

                1. re: Shep

                  My mom did'em the same way as rabbit - of course, Illinois squirrels are as big as rabbits! The flouring, browning, braising was her default small game recipe. She even cooked a young raccoon that way - to heavenly effect, I might add.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Never had 'coon, but have often heard it praised by country folk who should know.

                    Squirrel we always tried to stew, with mixed results. Bear in mind this was a bunch of teenagers without a clue on cooking other than what was in the Scout's Guidebook. Quartered 'em, browned 'em, tossed 'em in the pot with onions and carrots and potatoes, and let 'em simmer. No seasoning besides salt & pepper, so they never tasted like much.

            2. That sounds wonderful. Was it just the hind legs?

              1 Reply
              1. re: JudiAU

                No, the whole rabbit, sectioned. backstraps are the best part....