I’ll be careful and spare you the details of how I get my rabbits. I will say however that I source them from the wild of sagebrush flatlands, ranches, and woodlots. I also will be straightforward in that there are many many rabbits and we likely will never experience a true shortage of cottontails- no matter where you live in this country.
Rabbits are mild flavored, succulent and dare I even say- sweet(ish). They are a white flesh for the most part and agree with most any side dish. If you haven’t given rabbit meat a chance- I suggest sourcing one and giving it a go!
Whole or Quarter
Many folks will separate front and rear legs from the carcass and cook the back straps and tenderloins separate. I cook them whole usually unless I have more than a couple on hand. Here’s one I cooked up the other day.
Season, bag, 145 for 90 minutes, finish over low coals.
The first step (once the whole rabbit carcass is cleaned) is to season both the outside and inside of the rabbit. A little olive oil can be used to help seasonings stick.
From here, we simply bag it! I like to add 3 TBS of rendered duck fat to help flavors penetrate the meat and to keep it from losing any moisture after the grill finishing.
Finish over fire
Theres something to finishing rabbit over an open flame or low coals. It’s primal and the natural flame finish adds beauty and a little smoky flavor to the cottontail.
The rabbit can be cooked through a range of temperatures. I prefer 140-145 for 90 minutes. Once the water-bath has been completed, move the rabbit over low coals for 10 min each side or until a nice crispy golden brown skin comes appears.
You can see how nice the low coal finish leaves the rabbit looking. At this point its tender, flavorful, and has a crispy smoke undertone to it.
Rabbit have small front legs, decent back legs, small tenderloins and small(ish) back-straps. It is no doubt one cottontail rabbit and a side dish can feed two people, and keep in mind some farmed breeds are much larger.