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How to Keep Rabbit Meat Moist

3 Ways to Cook Moist, Flavorful Rabbit

Tired of tasting all things chicken? Then we say it's time to cast poultry aside and try cooking the other other white meat — rabbit, that is. While rabbit's experienced a recent resurgence, chefs and food lovers around the world have long prized the meat, which is tender, fine grained, and lean without an off-putting poultry aftertaste.

Rabbit has a mild, roasted-grain flavor that tastes amazing in slow-cooked stews, tomato-based meat sauces, or finished with butter and fresh herbs. If you're unsure about rabbit, rather than trying to make it the star of the meal, shred the meat and try using it as a substitute in soft tacos, a tomato-based pasta sauce, pot pie, or any other dish that might call for shredded chicken.

Because the meat is low in fat, rabbit can taste rubbery and dry if overcooked. To avoid ruining the meat, we've got a few tips for cooking rabbit. Here are three things to keep in mind.

  1. Leave the bone in: Bones help to lock in moisture, and rabbit is no exception. Since rabbit bones are small, and the cuts are not quite as meaty, it's worth it to keep the bones in while cooking.
  2. Braise it: Try searing rabbit meat in a cast iron pan, then covering it in a braising liquid like wine or stock and allowing it to slowly simmer for an hour. The meat will be full of moisture — plus, braising imparts a loose, fall-off-the-bone shredded texture.
  3. Check the temperature: Rabbit should reach 160°F. Serve it bone in, or once it's cool enough to touch, shred the meat off the bones with your hands, getting the most out of every nook and cranny. Add the shredded pieces to any sauce or pasta dish.

Have you ever given rabbit a chance on your plate?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Kevin2628110 Kevin2628110 5 years
I'm sorry to say this, but I've tried it because of the hype, and automatically felt very bad for myself (it didn't taste "exciting", anyway).....besides, I gave up on it because I heard about diseases with anemic-like symptoms that can be transmitted from eating rabbit meat.....scary stuff
Lisa2993441 Lisa2993441 5 years
  Reading your post is offensive to thousands of people!!! Your cute little domestic house rabbit originated from wild rabbits that were used for FOOD ONLY for 5,000 years.  Rabbits were never intended to be pets. They were meat, fiber, hides, NOT food.  Just because someone decided to keep them in a cage does not change their origin.  Aside from that, what about countries that eat dogs or cats, but worship cows or lambs?  Would you be horrified to eat your dog or cat???  Not if you grew up in a country where it was common practice.  Would you keep a cow in your house and let it eat from your table and poop on the floor?  If you grew up in India you would.  Culture does not change the origin of something.  The biggest point is that people need to STOP choosing which animals should and shouldn’t be eaten because of their *cuteness* factor.  A fuzzy big eyed long haired bunny is absolutely no different than a muddy, snarly, wild boar with big tusks and yellow teeth.  People gasp as the idea of eating the bunny, but have no problem chomping down on some pork ribs.  Beneath the surface, ALL animals have tissue, muscle, bone, organs and fluid.  The external appearance is the ONLY difference.  Unless you are 100% vegetarian, it would be hypocritical to say it’s not ok to eat rabbit but it is ok to eat cow, or pig or any other animal.  That would be choosing meat based on exterior appearance and your feelings (which IS culture driven).  Animals don’t look in mirrors, a bunny does not know it’s cute and a boar does not know it’s ugly.  Humans are the only creatures that put value based on appearance and the United States is the only country that protects rabbits as pets; all others still use them as food and fiber.  Yes, I eat rabbit on a regular basis.  Yes, I have visited third world countries and have had cat and dog and other exotic meat and yes, I do think rabbits are cute, but I'm also intelligent enough to know that once skinned and prepared, it’s absolutely no different than any other meat.  I am thankful to any animal that gives its life for me to have it as food, be it a bunny or a snake or an alligator.  They all have a beginning of life and they all have an end to life; they are ALL equal.
Connie2993224 Connie2993224 5 years
Eating rabbits offensive to thousands of people.  Rabbits live as house pets in my home. However, those who raise, prepare and cook bunnies have denigrated such opinions as an “Easter Bunny Syndrome,” or a “Bambi Complex.”  Those derisive labels seem to be an easy tactic to brush off a point of view as a psychological problem , i.e., “crazy bunny lady.”   When did respect for the lives of animals become an eccentric personality defect? The point is there are upwards from 2 to 4 million rabbits kept as pets in this country.  House rabbits are becoming very common in urban areas with rabbits kept in the family home just like a cat or dog. They are the third most popular mammalian pet in the U.S., UK and Canada. Domesticated rabbits can be litter box trained like a cat, learn their names and other words just like any dog or cat, learn tricks like dogs (clicker training), are very affectionate, and bond for life with people, other pets and other rabbits. Of course, people can eat a bunny. People will eat anything. In some parts of Asia dogs and cats are regularly consumed. However, as pet ownership of these animals is on the rise the resistance to eating them has increased as reported in several news stories this year. Rabbits are established as pets in the U.S. so why do we objectify them as food and not dogs or cats? If tradition and cultural preferences were reasonable arguments against braising a bunny, then why do the majority of people (pet owners or not) in the U.S. find it shocking people are still poaching puppies and boiling cats in some parts of the world. We know cats and dogs as our companions  Thousands know rabbits as companions.  All three species provide companionship.  All three animals have been heroes in news stories featured saving their owners from house fires and medical emergencies. And, all are comforting people as therapy animals nationwide.  Yet, one is still considered a trendy "farm to table" dinner entree and as an alternative to chicken.  The breeds considered so called "meat rabbits" are the same breeds who make the best pets like the Dutch, New Zealand, Californians, etc.  Recently, a Gorilla from a zoo in Erie PA, Samantha, was awarded certificate recognizing her "great compassion as a responsible rabbit caregiver and friend." Samantha lives in her enclosure with a Dutch bunny, a breed routinely sold as meat and ironically, pets, too.  But, apparently even a 400 lb. gorilla knows that rabbits are best suited as friends not food and what does that make people who cook them? 
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