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Can anyone tell me, if braised rabbit suppose to be tender or tough?

Sikander May 6, 2007 09:36 PM

[The Chowhound team moved this post from the Tristate Region board]
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I had post this question earlier but didn't have the proper Etiquette to post here so it was kindly deleted. I ate at a very good restaurant last night and ordered a Braised Rabbit, which was very tough. I did speak with the GM there but his response was let me ask the Chef and when he came back, he really didn't have a proper explaination and simply stated that I was the first one to order that meal that evening. This is being it was a special for the evening.

Thanks in advance,

  1. lunchbox May 7, 2007 12:51 AM

    Rabbit, in general, is closer to tender than tough, and anything braised correctly is by definition "fork tender" to "falling off the bone" tender.

    I suspect your dish may have come out of the kitchen before it was done braising- they may not have left themselves enough time for prep. How tough was it? I imagine it may have been a 10-15 chew mouthful up from 5-10, but if the flavors were fully infused and you didn't risk our dental work, I would leave a comment for the manager (to pass onto the kitchen).

    3 Replies
    1. re: lunchbox
      Eat_Nopal May 7, 2007 10:01 AM

      Otherwise the cooking temperature was too high.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal
        babette feasts May 7, 2007 10:15 AM

        It is certainly possible to braise too long or at too high heat and overcook the meat. Braising is not foolproof!

      2. re: lunchbox
        Sam Fujisaka May 8, 2007 07:50 AM

        Rabbit definitely should be very tender. Even a hare should be tender if braised properly.

      3. mrbozo May 7, 2007 10:13 AM

        The raison d'être of the braising technique (which involves slow-cooking at temparatures well below what one would use for roasting) is to render tough cuts of meat tender and to draw their abundance of flavour. Rabbit is hardly a tough little beast, so if it was braised it should literally have been falling apart. Sounds to me like the chef at your restaurant may need to go back to school.

        1. j
          JudiAU May 7, 2007 12:18 PM

          Rabbit, cut properly and braised properly, will be tender when cooked. The texture is very similiar to a softly braised chicken thigh. Personally, I prefer only the legs braised and feel that the loin should be boned and seared but many people braise the whole thing. Rabbit is very lean and as such, does need a very long braising time compared to other meats. The loin is even leaner and in my opinion, is never a great texture when braised.

          If it was tough it was probably cooked at too high a heat or at too high a temperature.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JudiAU
            ngardet May 7, 2007 01:27 PM

            There is even a difference between the legs. Braising is best with the back legs. The forelegs can be used for pate or simply fried. I love the boned loin just grilled with herbs.
            I find that dry brining the rabbit in the fridge overnight makes it really tender and juicy.

            1. re: ngardet
              JudiAU May 8, 2007 09:02 AM

              I use the Zuni method and cut up several rabbits at a time. The back legs get braised and the front legs get confited, shredded, and made into rilletes. And yes, a dry brine or buttermilk is very helpful!

          2. jfood May 7, 2007 01:31 PM

            Rabbit should be tender through and through. Think of a velvety chicken texture. Anything other than this is badly prepared. If it was very tough the chef should have offered to replace it with another dish and go back to the kitchen and either figure out whether he goofed (and remove it from the menu) or you were given a "bad" piece.

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