Because rabbit tastes something like chicken, many people think you can cook it the same way. But there is a big difference, it has very little fat so it can dry out and become tough if it is not cooked right. In fact it is so lean that living on an exclusive diet of rabbit can lead to rabbit starvation and be fatal.
However, if eaten as part of a normal diet it is quite healthy and should cause you no problems. The best way to cook them is slow cooked. This includes roasting, stews or casseroles. This keeps the meat nice and moist.
Young ones are suitable for roasting, while older ones need slow cooking. The liver, heart and kidneys make delicious giblets when lightly fried. As with all wild game, check the meat for lead shot before and after cooking.
If not cooked correctly the lean flesh can result in dry, tough meat. Slow cooking is one of your best bets for good results. Cook yours at a low heat over long period of time, submerged in a liquid. In hard times you may want to use a Wonder Oven to conserve fuel.
Rabbit can also be cooked quickly, but should to be jointed first, as each cut requires a different cooking time. Frying rabbit is very similar to frying chicken. But it is best to only fry the saddle or loin of young ones. The other pieces will be tough, save them for stew. Because of so little fat rabbits toast fairly quickly. They should be roasted on the bone to help keep the moisture in.
Here is an old recipe for rabbit stew.
Pioneer women often cooked soups over an open campfire or oven or open hearth. Soups were often served with biscuits or cornbread.
- 1 rabbit, dressed, and cut into serving pieces
- 1/4 cup flour 2 onions, chopped
- 1 cup potatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- 4 Tblsp butter mixed herbs
Mix flour and seasonings together. Coat rabbit with mixture. Melt butter and fry rabbit pieces until well browned. Put pieces in large pan and add onion, carrots, and potatoes. Cover with water and season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Cover and cook in a moderate oven for 3 hours.
The above recipe will work for jackrabbits as well as cottontails and domestic rabbits. With jackrabbits slow cook them or they will be tough.