Growing up, everything was homemade and most of the ingredients came from our garden.
I remember the first time I ate rabbit quite vividly. My dad had rolled it in flour, fried it, and cooked the tar out of it. It was tough and chewy, and with sincerest apologies to my dad, it wasn't fit to be a chew toy for a dog.
Many times, you will hear that rabbit tastes like chicken, and this is fairly true. Rabbit does taste similar to dark meat chicken. When it is prepared correctly, it is tender and juicy and wonderful! One thing to keep in mind is that, although it looks like chicken and tastes like chicken, it is still rabbit and it can't be prepared exactly like chicken. Rabbit is an extremely lean meat, so slow cooking is the only true way to keep it tender and flavorful.
Traditional chicken and dumpling recipes will boil a chicken until it is falling off the bone and then shred the meat. Using rabbit is similar but takes a little longer. Rabbit should never be boiled, only simmered. Simmering on low heat for a longer period of time will insure that your rabbit is tender.
Since rabbit, like chicken, pairs fantastically with many herbs, I created an easy herb dumpling recipe. If you are not a fan of traditional dumplings, this dough can be rolled out thin, cut into strips, and cooked like noodles.
I know my dad would be proud of this recipe I have created, and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my husband does!
- 1 whole rabbit
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup carrots sliced
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas or green beans
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup hot chicken stock
- 1 egg
Cook rabbit ahead so it can cool enough to shred. You should allow at least 2 - 3 hours time for this portion of the recipe.
- Place rabbit in large pot with enough water to cover it at least 1 inch.
- Add 2 tablespoons of salt
- Simmer on low heat 1-1/2 - 2 hours until tender and falling off the bone.
- Drain water and let cool enough to handle the meat.
- Shred meat and set aside.
Dumplings and Soup
- In a medium size pot, bring 6 cups chicken stock to a simmer.
- In a large bowl, sift 2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
- Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Carefully add 1 cup of simmering stock to the flour mixture.
- Stir with a fork until combined, then using your hands, incorporate all the ingredients.
- Add egg and continue to mix with your hands until combined. Set dumpling dough aside.
- Remove 1 cup of stock from pot, add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir until flour is dissolved. Set aside.
- Add carrots and peas/green beans to simmering chicken stock.
- Bring stock and vegetables to a gentle boil by increasing the heat to medium high.
- Using a teaspoon, drop dumpling dough into stock and vegetables stirring occasionally to separate dumplings.
- Once dumplings are all added, slowly add the stock/flour mixture stirring continuously. Stock will thicken. Bring to a boil, add rabbit meat and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Makes approximately 4 servings.
All done! ENJOY!
Fern Bailey (author) from Michigan on May 24, 2017:
I think rabbit is a very underestimated source of lean protein. It is so delicious!
Lena Durante from San Francisco Bay Area on May 23, 2017:
I love rabbit! My great-uncle and great-aunt raised them for food when I was a kid. These days I get my fix with a rabbit paella at my favorite local Spanish restaurant. It's been a long time since I cooked one myself!