How to Cook Fried Rabbit
Fried rabbit is a massively underrated dish. Its rich flavor is similar to fried chicken but with a much deeper taste. This dish works great as a ‘quirky’ starter for dinner parties or a main for a keen hunter.
I love this dish as it allows you to alter and change your frying mixture each time. Meaning you can end up with a different tasting dish every time you cook it. Below is a list of the key ingredients and then a list of alternations that can make your meal something really special.
First you have to choose what rabbit you plan on cooking. A wild rabbit will have a much more gamey and bitter taste then a domestic rabbit, making it better for stronger flavors. If this is your first time eating a strong game meat, I would recommend a domestic bunny to ease you in. Its also worth noting that younger wild does (females) will taste less bitter then older bucks (males). Anyways back to that list!
The following will serve 2 as a main or 4-5 as a starter.
- 1 Rabbit. This can be cut into small lumps or into large chunks (such as the legs). If you are unsure how to cut up the meat ask your butcher to help. If you plan on serving the dish to potentially squeamish people I would use small lumps.
- 1 cup (about 200-250mls) of butter milk.
- Plain flour. The amount of flour you use decides how thick your batter is. Use about half a cup for a light batter (great from bringing out the flavor of the meat and its spices) Or use about a full cup for a deep fried rabbit.
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Using these ingredients will fry the rabbit in a way which brings out its natural taste and is a excellent meal on its own, but adding spices or extras to your batter mix can really add a tasty twist. Below is a list of possible alternates, or you can Skip to the How To Fry Your Rabbit Section.
Alternates and twists
Add bread crumbs
Adding bread crumbs will mean the batter becomes much thicker, a bit like KFC chicken. But much taster of course! Just use half a cup of flour mixed with bread crumbs and your away.
Italians are big on eating rabbit. To make this tasty twist simply add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasonings to your floor mix. Or you can cut up half a cup of your own fresh herbs. I would recommend a even mixture of oregano, thyme and parsley with a good dash of pepper. This makes for a much fresher tasting twist on fried rabbit.
Finely chop (or blend) about 70 grams of shallots (or red onion), 40 grams of ginger, 5-15 hot green chillies (depending on how hot you want it) and 5 or so sprigs of fresh mint. Then add 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder, 1 tablespoon coriander powder and turmeric powder into your mix. Give your mix a stir and add about 50 grams of plain yoghurt while you mix. This will give the meat a thick, spicy and flavorful batter, perfect from strong wild meat.
Bacon and Lemon Twist
Cook 2 rasher of bacon and leave the oily fat in the pan. Add about ¼ of lemon juice to the pan and cut up the bacon into tiny cubes. Add the bacon cubes to your mix and you’re done! This is a great way to cancel out some of the bitter taste in fried rabbit and is great for people new to rabbit meat.
Make Your Own Twist
Making a batter is easy! Simply add a few spices or herbs to your flour to make it a little special and a little you. Just use your common sense and taste to mix something good up.
How to Fry your Rabbit
The cooking part is nice and easy. Get yourself two bowls big enough to dip your cuts of meat into. In one bowl you want your buttermilk (if you don’t have butter milk you can use full fat milk mixed with 1 egg) and in the other you want your flour and spices, well mixed of course.
Dip the meat into the milk, giving it a second or two to soak into the meat and cover it fully. Then roll the meat in your flour/spices, truly cake each bit the best you can. Push the flour over the top of the meat and leave it in the fridge for at least 7 or 8 hours. I would suggest leaving it over night to really let the flavors sink in.
Once your ready, fill about one third of your frying pan with cooking oil. Heat the oil until it is just starting to boil (be careful not to let it boil, it’ll spit). Gently lay the meat in the pan and allow it to cook for about 25 minutes or until it is a fresh golden brown color and can be easily pulled apart with a fork.
Remove the pan from the heat to let it cool for a few seconds, then carefully take the fried rabbit out and allow it to drain on some kitchen paper. Once the meat is free of oil its ready to be dished up.
Fried rabbit has a rich taste and goes great with real ale or dark red wine. If you plan on serving the dish as a main it goes well with sautéed potatoes and green veg. or even a light salad.
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