Saturday, February 16, 2008

No Lucky Rabbit's Feet, But We Are Lucky

I can't believe how good the house smells. I can't wait for supper.
This is a local rabbit. Way local. The "giblets" were still biologically attached in the visceral cavity, so I got the honors of doing a little butchering. Oh, and then I had to break down the bunny into "wings" and legs and back (saddle) and breast (feh, nothing there to eat). Fortunately I've hacked up enough chickens that it was easy. And necessary; the intact rabbit (3.25 lbs.) wouldn't fit into my braising pot.
I took the picture of the whole carcass on purpose, though. For one thing, as these bunny parts stew in the oven, the meat is shrinking away from the bone, and it's not pretty. For another thing, there's a movement of scaredy-cats who "cry" (go to comments) when they see a photo like this, and I believe they are due for some reality conditioning.
Let me just tell you how delicious the braising sauce is. I made it with a lot of carrots, because Bugs likes his carrots. It is also rich with chicken stock and loads of champagne. (OK, and fennel bulb, orange zest, celery, leeks, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, olive oil. You can get the technique by Googling "braised rabbit.")
It's not time to eat yet, because the accompanying polenta has a ways to go. But I've tasted the fall-off-the-bone bunny, and it's really, really nice. Not chicken-y. Not gamey. Kind of in between.
You'd like it. Yeah, you, ya scaredy-cat.
Me, I am starving.

20 comments:

kudzu said...

Aha. I was just about to email to ask, "Is it rabbit yet?" Good for you.
Save the skinny parts and pick the meat off for rillettes!

I salute your bravery, since I was there to watch when you said, "How much does that rabbit weigh?"

Anita said...

Good on ya, Cookie. :)

Katie said...

I certainly appreciate folks that understand the concept of a food chain! Never had rabbit. Perhaps I will try it now! (Your naked rabbit looked mighty interesting to me...)

Annie said...

I cried when I saw that comment. No thank you.

I was just thinking about trying to cook rabbit, but now I don't know how I'll manage, what with the crying.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Can you believe Cranky and I waited three days to get to it? And it was still fresh and perfect. Mm.
Yes, we are already contemplating rillettes. My braising concoction was perfection!
(Good thing you and I asked if there were any less "porky" bunnies in the store.)

Anita: I have to recommend this, seriously. Not at all freaky.

Katie: Well, that's an enquiring mind you have! It pleases me that the image of the raw body makes you want to cook rabbit. That's exactly what happened to me in the store.

Annie: Buck up, girlie. You can handle the comments. :D
I have missed you. (Oh, now, with the crying...)

ChrisB said...

CC I'll get in the story of when sam and beccy were children and I tried to get them to eat rabbit casserole by pretending it was chicken. Not my best idea ever!!

Kevin said...

CC,
Bend over, Wabbit. Heh, heh, heh...

tammy said...

Soooooo jealous...

Anonymous said...

Rabbit is fantastic whether you manage to buy it or hunt it!
Best experience was in Spain, lots of Wabbits and lots of fantastic food. I learned there to keep the head attached as the "cheeks" are especially good.
Thanks
Bob

Moonbear said...

Ah. Just in time for Easter.

Heather said...

I love, love, love cooking and eating bunneh. They leave the organs on as evidence of freshness. Rabbit liver jus is one of my favorites sauces! I have a bunneh in my freezer right now, as a matter of fact! Yummms.

peter said...

I'm hoping to get on e this week from a friend who had just started production... chickens and ducks, too- yum.

cookiecrumb said...

ChrisB: My mother did something like that to me. I ate it (frozen from a box, tough and stringy) believing it was chicken. When it turned out not to be, I was angry!

Kevin: Aw, I don't speak "Bugs."

Tammy: I'm doing this again, soon.

Bob (anonymous): I'd love to hunt my own rabbits. Thanks for the tease!

Moonbear: Ah. I was once forced to eat rabbit on Easter, and boy was I upset! (I was very young. Willing to eat rabbit, but Not On Easter.)

Heather: This is the first one I've cooked at home, and it was easy and awesomely successful.
(I'm thinking of making a mini pate with the huge liver.) And thanks for that tip about leaving the organs on. Wow.

Peter: What a friend to have. I'll just have to go the commercial route, until I get my hunting license.

Liz said...

Well, you know how I feel about those scaredy-cats who don't want to know their food. Phooey on them.

I'll echo Heather: rabbit liver is the best, and I've supped on super-fresh chicken and turkey livers (freshly killed), and tons of duck liver. Rabbit wins, hands down.

cookiecrumb said...

Liz: Thank you and Heather for hammering home that point. I'm-a totally going to cook the big fat liver tomorrow. I am so thrilled.

Sam said...

I bet your mother didn't declare "ha ha, you just ate a bunny rabbit" with an evil glint in her eye after the fact, did she?

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: No evil glint. It was complicated -- I came home from school to discover her thawing the rabbit, and became upset. Then I went and did homework, and by the time for supper, the rabbit had turned into a chicken. I'm not sure she explicitly said so, or just let me believe. And when I realized it was rabbit (not bad, though I did think I was eating chicken) I got upset again, and I think my mom felt guilty.

Tea said...

Wow, for someone who is meat tentative, you've really hit your stride!

cook eat FRET said...

i'm making rabbit soon. thought i'd use some orange zest. it's an original concept so don't copy me.

Josie said...

Best rabbit I have ever eaten? At a school cafeteria in Portugal. Ya never know what you might find when you explore a new place...

The dish looks fantastic. I have been asking my dad to kill me a wascally wabbit whilst hunting. We shall see...