Tasty, tasty rabbit.
Elena Ferretti wrote an article titled “How to Cook an Easter Bunny”, giving some great examples of why we should eat more rabbit. First of all:
Rabbit is leaner than chicken, veal or turkey, with less fat and cholesterol. It has half the calories per pound compared to beef and pork and is the most easily digestible protein around. Since it’s both abundant and ubiquitous, low consumption has little to do with availability and lots to do with Thumper (a Cottontail) and Bugs (probably a Lop-Eared Gray.)”
See, that’s the problem. Mention eating rabbit to my nieces, a coworker (hello Jenn), or even one of my baking instructors, and they’re appalled that you’re munching on cute, little fluffy bunnies.
Me? I love rabbit. I was even lucky enough to have rabbit as one of my ingredients in my Black Box final in culinary school (it’s a final with mystery ingredients, no recipes or cookbooks, and you have to use all your ingredients plus whatever random ones you find when you walk into class to make an appetizer, soup, main course, and dessert. I made braised rabbit with a mustard sauce and it was AWESOME!).
And rabbit is healthy for other reasons as well.
Because rabbits mature fast they spend less time on earth than cows or pigs and have no time to accumulate toxins. They reproduce quickly and are grown without hormones or antibiotics. They can be entirely raised on alfalfa, clover or grass, making them a non-competitive species with humans – i.e. they don’t eat what we eat. Simply put, they’re very clean meat.
Rabbit is also delicious and no, it doesn’t taste like chicken. “It’s very delicate. I’d say the taste is closer to veal,” says Chef Emily Peterson who teaches at Astor Center in New York City….”
Unless you overcook it. Then it tastes kinda like overcooked chicken that’s been sitting in the fridge for two weeks.
Braising is probably the easiest way to successfully prepare rabbit. The article also links to a recipe for Rabbit Cacciatore, but there are so many more recipes out there. Many are from companies that sell rabbit meat, but there are quite few from people who raise their own rabbits, as well as the standard recipe sites.
http://www.showbunny.com/recipes_using_rabbit.html (scroll down for the actual recipes)
This is an individual recipe from the Reluctant Gourmet’s site. I’m including him in my list because he has some great recipes. Here’s the link to his recipe for Pan Roasted Rabbit.
Finally, because I’m a Texan, and we Texans have to cook our meat outside, here’s a recipe for Grilled Rabbit – coniglio marinato alla griglia (even though it’s from a Brit).
Now I need to go find me a rabbit.