One of my fabulous co workers knew I was looking for rabbit, and had her son get a few extra for me when he went hunting last weekend. Because they are awesome like that. Even better, he cleaned them for me too, because I will fully admit I don’t mind breaking the animal down, but I want nothing to do with hunting or cleaning them.
Plus, in the apartment, I’m pretty sure cleaning any animal out in the common area would be frowned upon, at best.
So I have two rabbits, already soaked, already partially broken down. Now I had to decide what to do with them. The hard part, of course.
My favorite cooking show in the world, the Two Fat Ladies, has a couple of rabbit recipes. Both of which sounded pretty good. Seeing as I haven’t done much cooking all week, but I was tired, I improvised and combined a bit of both recipes, but not enough to claim they were really either one.
Now, I must also admit that I had a lot of trouble. I boned the rabbits. Its the first time I’ve done that. First time I’ve tried rabbit, actually. I did not do a great job. But I got the tenderloins out beautifully, so that made me happy. They were wild, lean rabbits, so the rest was more difficult.
I rinsed the meat, then marinated it in a bowl with one sliced onion and one sliced carrot, about 1/3 bottle of white wine, a sprig of rosemary, and a couple bay leaves.
This was before I’d gotten the legs done and put in the wine.
I also have another confession that’s a bit embarrassing. I was about halfway through cleaning up the rabbits and breaking them down and got very nauseous. I had to stop, clean up, put it all away for a good hour, then come back and finish. Weirdest thing ever. It wasn’t because of what I was breaking down – I’m not that squeamish. After talking to Mom, (who has done her share of cleaning wild game) I think it was the smell. I’m super sensitive to smells (no, seriously.) and I think it was too much. At least I was wearing disposable gloves so I didn’t smell like it too!
I dreaded opening the container this evening, but I guess once the carcasses were gone, it was okay, because I didn’t notice it at all. That’s a VERY good thing.
I pulled out the rabbit pieces and put them into a bag of seasoned flour (a little S&P, some garlic and onion powder, and paprika) and then put some oil in a frying pan. I bought one jalapeno, chopped it fine, and put it in the olive oil. Once it was popping, I browned the rabbit pieces and then transferred them to an oven safe dish with a lid.
Heat the oven to 350. Now, in the Two Fat Ladies, Jennifer poured the marinade out and brought it to a boil, then poured it over the rabbit. Since the only liquid was wine, and I had more, I opted to fish out the onion and carrot, then discard the rest. Its wild food, so I was trying to be extra careful, just in case.
I poured fresh wine in, added a fresh sprig of rosemary and new bay leaves, and then brought it to the boil for a few minutes before pouring over the browned rabbit.
Then it went into the oven for 45 minutes.
It doesn’t look bad, right?
The truth is, it was okay. Not great, but not terrible. The rabbit did have a tiny bit of a bitter aftertaste, though the husband said he couldn’t taste it. He didn’t care for the wine I used, said it was too sweet. But he like the rabbit itself with the breading taken off, and he loved the veggies.
I tried the rabbit, and it was only okay. Probably my mistakes in making it. But it was a learning experience, so it wasn’t a loss!
All the same, I’m glad I had made this while the rabbit was cooking, just in case someone didn’t like the bunny.
I ate half my rabbit tenderloin, then ate half the butterflied chicken breast and my baked potato.
Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
I’m not posting the recipe, because I really think I bombed this one.
Ever cooked rabbit? Have any tips?