Once we finished the recipes for Cornish game hens in our Dutch Oven Cookbook, the next section required rabbit! Have you ever eaten rabbit? Wayne hasn’t, but I have, although it’s been close to 40 years. Just the thought of trying to find rabbit in a grocery store brought back memories of the Beckstrand Family Farm.
As I suspected, once I started looking for it, I discovered that none of our local grocery stores carry rabbit. I wasn’t quite aware before of how many local grocery stores we actually have! After each “sorry, we don’t have rabbit” answer, I asked if they knew who might. Most of those were dead-ends as well, but, surprise, surprise, there actually is a market off of PGA Boulevard that carries rabbit – Doris’ Italian Market!
So, Saturday morning we took a field trip. Too bad it was the last day of the month (which means our grocery budget was shot), because there were a lot of unique items in this fun store, and it would have been nice to eat lunch at their deli. Maybe some day we’ll stop again on the way home from a beach excursion.
We found the rabbit in the frozen meat case, next to the duck. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but it came whole and from China. However, once we opened the package, we learned that it really was cleaned nicely and ready to cook.
Our recipe called for “pieces” so the first step was to figure out how to cut it. Google came to the rescue – How to Cut up a Rabbit. I know I didn’t do the butchering and cleaning of the rabbits we had for dinner, (Thank you, George!), but I must have helped with the cooking, because handling these rabbits sure brought back some memories, and not necessarily pleasant ones!
Fried Rabbit is very similar to Fried Chicken. Place the pieces in a container and soak in buttermilk for several hours. Then coat with bread crumbs seasoned to taste and cook in a bit of oil until done.
Rabbit tastes very much like chicken, with a similar texture, just a bit more chewy. If you’ve never eaten it, give it a try!
Knowing that we would need cooked, chopped, bite-sized pieces of rabbit for the next recipe, we cooked more than we needed, de-boned what we didn’t eat, and stuck it in the freezer. It kept nicely for a few months, and then we pulled it out again.
Dutch Oven Rabbit Pot Pie
We followed the recipe as directed, but I wasn’t terribly impressed with it. I think it needs more vegetables in ratio to the rabbit along with a thicker gravy. In addition, because we were making it for two and not ten, having enough dough to cover the filling (cooked in a large Dutch oven) meant the dough to filling ratio was way off. However, it was a nice recipe to work on while watching a football game on tv, and we did enjoy our dinner. We also get to make it a few more times, and we’ll try various adjustments as we do so.