Rabbit, Three Ways

Rabbit is very under appreciated in the US. I’m sure it’s due to the whole cuddly-pet-bugs-bunny thing. We really are missing out because a rabbit can be very tasty if cooked right. It’s mild and does NOT taste like chicken. The problem with cooking rabbit is that the legs are very different than the loin (or saddle). A chicken can be roasted whole with no problem, but roast a rabbit whole and you will have tough legs and a decent saddle or a dried out saddle and tender legs. You cannot perfectly cook the whole animal.

 So, step one is to divide the rabbit into hindquarters, front legs/shoulder and to debone the saddle (giving you two loins each attached to the belly flap). I also took an idea from Gordon Ramsay and made small and very cute rabbit chops (think miniature lamb chops no bigger than your thumb!) from the rib area. The hindquarters and front legs/shoulder pieces went into a FoodSaver bag with a couple of pats butter, salt and a few sprigs of thyme. These were cooked Sous Vide with the circulator’s temperature set to 170F for 3 hours. They were then rapidly chilled in a water bath and stored in the fridge until grilling time.

 For the loin pieces I made a marinade/stuffing using bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil and some herbs. I rubbed this all over them and them put some on the belly flap before wrapping it around the loin a securing with a toothpick. I did nothing to the tiny chops. I lit up my grill and placed a cast iron griddle on  a portion of it. The loin pieces went on the grates over the coals. The legs in the FoodSaver bags were brought up to temp in warm water and seared on the griddle. I seasoned the chops with salt and pepper and very quickly cooked them on the griddle as well because they would’ve fallen through the grill grates.

I served the rabbit portions with Asapragus that was also seared on the griddle and tossed with tomato vinaigrette. Each portion was distinct and delicious. The loin was tender  and full of flavor and crunchy crispy bits from the bread crumbs. The sous vide legs were tender but not falling apart or dry. The chops were little one bite morsels of tender tasty bunny.

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