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Wabbit season

Made rabbit stew last night, and I didn't really like it. Too tough, and too boney. I'll eat the vegetables, but I feel rabbits are safe from me in the future.

Plus, bugs Bunny was on this morning, and I enjoyed him a lot more.

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  1. Rabbits have very little fat, So little, that if you ate only rabbit you would starve to death very soon.

    They either require very short cooking time, or a very long, slow braise. You can't do much about the bones, but it sounds like you needed to cook your stew mush quicker, or much longer and at a lower temp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Yeah, could be actually. Mind you I heard it would taste like chicken, and it definitely didn't.

      1. re: Soop

        Rabbit definitely doesn't taste like chicken. Tastes like fur. I've made 2 rabbit recipes in my lifetime. One from Julia's MTAOFC Vol. 1. It was a slow braise after the critter was marinated and was delicious!! Empowered by that success the second one came from an old Italian cookbook by Maria LoPinto which was a sautee..... tasted like fur. Never again!

    2. It's also a staple for paella, authentic Spanish style.

      1. Lapin au Moutard. Hasenpfeffer. My mom's braised makes-its-own-gravy rabbit. Never noticed that it tasted like fur; after having grown up eating wild rabbit, I think the domestic ones don't taste like much of anything, without some help.

        There used to be a restaurant a bit south of Anchorage at Rabbit Creek, on a lovely piece of land overlooking Cook Inlet, called the Rabbit Creek Inn. Rabbit was featured on the menu, and although it was from domestic breeds, they were free-range, living on the huge fenced-in lawn out front. You could sit there digging the scenery and watching all the bunnies hopping around, whilst dining on one of their siblings. There was a non-windowed room available for the excessively tenderhearted.

        1. I cook locally-sourced rabbit frequently. I love the slightly gamy flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pikawicca

            Rabbit is one of my absolute favourites. When I lived in the wilds of Cumberland, north west England, we used to quite often catch them on summer nights, on the way home from the pub. They're ridiculously easy to catch as they often stand stock still when they're frightened - hence the phrase 'rabbit caught in the headlights'. We'd take them home, skin them, clean them and and cook them right then and there.

            Brown the meat in hot oil, add a little stock - anything liquid will do, I once made a kind of stock out of vegetables and Southern Comfort - and a few vegetables. We used to use freshly pulled carrots and cabbage straight out of the garden. Salt and pepper. Tarragon if you have it, or any other sweet herb. Simmer for just 20 minutes or so. To make it extra luxurious, add a swirl of cream at the end. Fantastic!

          2. BRAISE,and all is good.Rabbit is tasty .It's doubtful I would pay the $$ seen at the store or restaurants.The price should be limited to 1 shell,cleaning/skinning,like squirrel.

            1. Jack rabbit jerky-- used to make it when I had a ready supply of jacks during cold weather. Fresh cottentail in a wine sauce is excellent. Preparation of the harvest is important, shotguns tend to destroy a lot of meat and cause contamination of what is left.

              2 Replies
              1. re: NVJims

                "...shotguns tend to destroy a lot of meat and cause contamination of what is left". Which is one reason we always used our .22 instead, the other being that the family's .410 was an old break-open single-shot. Best shot I ever saw was while combing some bottom-land scattered with clumps of brush, sharing an old Quackenbush .22 (one step up from a zip gun!) with two other guys. All of a sudden this rabbit, driven nuts with fear, did an amazing leap straight up out of a clump, and the guy carrying the rifle nailed it like a clay pigeon. Head shot, too.

                It was all cottontails in the Midwest. I've never had jackrabbit - are they more akin to hare?

                1. re: Will Owen

                  They are hare,born with the eyes open,not bald,eyes closed neo-natal like rabbits.

              2. We frequently eat rabbit...but not the obnoxious wild critters. At present, I have Champagne d'Argents, an old, old french breed of meat rabbit. These do not taste like Chicken, or wild rabbits. I grow our own, because I a very picky about the processing, and resultant quality of the meat. Most of America has the "Easter Bunny Syndrome"...and won't eat rabbit. I think Spain ?? is the largest present producer of rabbit in the world. A good, lean meat, very amenable to a many cooking methods. Use spices recommended for veal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PotShard

                  "Most of America has the "Easter Bunny Syndrome"...and won't eat rabbit." You said it. The brand of frozen rabbit I see most often is one from Georgia called "Buford's Rabbits". Were I Mr. Buford I could not have resisted calling my business "Buford's Bunnies", and I'm sure I'd have gone broke quickly. As it is, I've found that even buying a frozen duckling can force me to deal with some teenage checkout clerk's emotional issues.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    "Buford's Bunnies"..? Likely, you would have gone out of business overnight. Many of our neighbors are totally repelled by the mere thought of eating rabbit. I think a lot of people don't realize where their food comes from, and under what kind of conditions. If they did,..they would not eat chicken, or drink milk, etc. Our three Australian Shepherds come close,..but have only caught one wild bunny. They are great mousers, and one takes down any coyote he sees near our place,...but those fassssst cottontails & "Jacks" make monkeys out of them.

                2. For quick cooking, a young domestic rabbit is your best bet: mild and tender. When I was a kid we had a hutch out back next to the chicken coop. Guess what our two main protein sources were? It actually does taste a bit like chicken, but it has its own special rabbitiness.

                  An older rabbit, or any wild rabbit, is another matter entirely. Much more pronounced flavor, and long, slow cooking is the only way to avoid toughness.

                  As far as the bones go, my brother used to get quite a few cottontail each winter, and he'd usually just take the loins and leave the rest for the hawks. You can get the vast majority of the usable meat off a carcass in pretty short order, although cooking up the whole thing does make for a tastier broth.

                  1. I grew up hunting cottontails using beagles. Ate my way through college in Pennsylvania on cottontail, pheasant, duck and trout. Moved to New Mexico and found the joy of cottontails, jack rabbits, dove and quail. Now that I live in Maine i am a little saddened at the dearth of cottontails. Evidently due to habitat loss, rise in the coyote populations and harsh winters, the Maine dept. of wildlife is considering putting the eastern cottontail on the endangered species list! We have one wittle wabbit behind the house. Lots of squirrels though. Might try raising rabbits, ducks and goats this summer. Happy hunting in the New Year!

                    1. Rabbit Fricasee with Paparadelle was our Thanksgiving meal this year. Beautiful domestic rabbit available from out Chinese superstore here in Orlando, braised with shallots, mushrooms, thyme,white wine with a swirl of cream at the end. My family went ga-ga for it. 2 rabbits and 4 people and my adult children fought over who was going to take the leftovers-barely-for-one home.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BBenson

                        Sounds as though it must have been a success! That dish looks marvelous. When I cooked Lapin a la Moutarde for some friends at their request, I served that on pappardelle, too. Could hardly imagine a more perfect noodle for this kind of thing.