Ah, rabbit. The other other white meat.
My partner and I discovered the wonders of rabbit a few months ago, when we bravely decided to buy a frozen one from our local Korean supermarket, H Mart. (Ten bucks, you can’t beat it.) We’d both had it before at restaurants, but each time it was prepared in a way that rendered the flavor indistinguishable from its surroundings (sausages, stews.) So we really didn’t know what to expect.
Guys, it was delicious. The rumors are true, it does taste very similar to lean chicken, but it also had a gaminess to it not unlike the flavor of pork. I made a simple French-inspired mustard-and-cream dish and we were stoked to find a new option for when our regular rotation of proteins bore us .
For our second go around, I decided to try something a little different. Since we had a bag of unopened pistachios from an abandoned dessert recipe and just a small end of a parmesan cheese wedge left, I decided to add both of those items to panko, bread some rabbit pieces, and bake.
Since rabbit is mostly fatless, it tends to dry out a bit easily. That’s why I decided to brine it this time – something I RARELY do. Thankfully, however, it was completely worth the tiny bit of extra effort because we ended up with a delectably juicy entree with the perfect crunchy crust on the outside.
And if rabbit’s not your thing, these can easily be replicated with chicken thighs!
- 1 2-3 LB rabbit.
- 4 cups water
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 3 TB salt
- 2 TB sugar
- Garlic powder
- Fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage, or oregano
- 6-8 brined rabbit pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups panko
- 1/2 cup or so shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup or so crushed pistachios (can be done in the food processor)
- Garlic powder
A few hours before you plan to cook the rabbit, toss together the brine. The meat only requires about one hour per pound, so 2-3 hours ahead of time is enough to marinate.
If your rabbit is not already butchered, use a sharpened knife to remove the limbs at the joints and cut the torso into about 4 separate pieces. Throw into a bowl, press down, and cover with water until the pieces are fully submerged. Add the cider vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic powder, and herbs and whisk the bowl a bit. Tightly seal the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Hours later, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your dredging station: beat 2 eggs in a small bowl and combine the panko, paremsan, and pistachios in another, adding salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the mix. Remove the rabbit from the brine, dabbing each piece with a towel to soak up the excess liquid, and begin to systematically dip each piece into the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs, making sure they’re completely encased. Place them in an oiled baking pan and set in the hot oven.
After 15 minutes, lower the heat down to 350 degrees. About 10-12 minutes later, remove from the oven. When you cut into the pieces, the juices should running mostly clear (like chicken), but also note that can be eaten slightly pink at the bone (like pork.) They will be wonderfully juicy and salty on the inside and beautifully crunchy and flavorful on the outside. Enjoy!