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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Rabbit Hunting




I thought about leaving out the skinning-of-the-rabbit photo but figured what the heck... it's a part of what this post is all about. A wild cottontail rabbit dinner. :)

This year, there is an abundance of wildlife in my area. The cottontails are thick! So are the owls and hawks who prey on them. I hadn't eaten rabbit in a few years so decided it was a good time to do so.
Rabbit hunting doesn't involve much.... I step out onto either my front porch or my back porch with the .22 and pick a nice tender bunny.

After cleaning and skinning the rabbit, I let it soak overnight in salt water...



trimmed the rabbit and cut the backbone to lay flat...



drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper and smoked paprika...



I wanted to give the rabbit a shot of smoke and also brown the meat a bit...so into the drum with a kiss of hickory...







meanwhile, I cooked some bacon til crisp, added butter, scallions, onions and garlic to the drippings....cooked them til tender.


also placed a few of my dried morel mushrooms in water to hydrate...




I cut the lightly browned rabbit into sections.. the hind legs, front legs (wings) and divided the saddle...



into the pot of onions and garlic... I also added a few potatoes to the cooker for smooshed tatoes.



I then added a bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock and a little bit of wine. Then let it simmer...


When the potatoes were tender I sauteed scallions and garlic in butter, added flour, then milk to make a sauce....then mixed in the smoked, cubed potatoes...milk and butter, salt and pepper to taste.



smooshed them up a bit.... I make these tatoes often. I love the garlic and smokey flavor. :)



back to the wabbit...

the morels went in next, I let them simmer til tender...I thickened the gravy with a cornstarch slurry.




That's pretty much it.
The smoked garlic smooshed tatoes topped with tender wild rabbit and morel mushroom gravy...









The rabbit was so tender and juicy.. I had forgotten how tasty they are!




I hope to get a couple more rabbits before season ends.

The weather has been beautiful the last few days. Very mild for this time of the year. I'm hoping to go fishing sometime soon.
The Oklahoma earthquakes are getting interesting. We had a 5.1 quake in Fairview this morning that had my house shaking. They seem to be getting stronger!


Hope everyone has a nice Valentine's Day tomorrow. Give your loved ones a hug while you have the chance. :)



14 comments:

Jeff Bushman said...

I haven't had rabbit in 10s of years. That looks great. Very healthy meat as far as fat goes. I do have one living under the bush in my front yard but there is no way in heck I would ever get my wife to eat it. LOL
Nice job on the "Wabbit"

cowgirl said...

lol Bushman, I bet you would be in trouble if you shot that one. :D They really are cute animals and fun to watch.

I hadn't eaten wild rabbit in ages, it's really tasty. There are quite a few jack rabbits around here too... they aren't as cute or tasty as the cottontails.

Thanks for stopping by. I Hope you have a nice Valentine's Day! I plan on going fishing this afternoon. :)

Jim Dorchak said...

I sure do like your recipe for bunny. I do not have the sorrels available, but we do have a Chilean variety that grow wild down here that I could dig up, so to speak. I hope you do not mind if I give your ideas a go?

We came upon some free bunnies, hutch and all this past week and I am now entering into bunny raising. This to go along with our sheep, pigs and various fowl.Jim

cjbstar said...

That meal looks fantastic. I haven't had rabbit in a couple of decades. My dad raised some when I was small so it was a fairly regular staple on our table. How long does it take to skin and clean? Thank you for sharing your life on this blog. Sure do enjoy reading it.

Oneeye said...

Back in the mid 80's we had a huge snowshoe bare population here in Minnesota. My brothers and I shot a lot of them. Mom always cooked them and they were great! I hadn't eaten one since until this winter. I caught one in a bobcat trap so I cleaned it up, browned it and finished cooking it in some good, brown gravy. Delicious! Meant to hunt a few more but never did get another one.

cowgirl said...

Jim, that's fantastic! Home grown bunnies are very tasty. I was just thinking about you all the other day...wondered how things are going in Chile. Sounds like you are living the good life down there!

My bunny recipe isn't fancy but you're sure welcome to give it a try. I have a bad habit of not measuring anything. :)
Thanks for stopping by, hope you're having a nice Valentine's Day!

cowgirl said...

Thank you cbjstar!! You're very kind. I appreciate you taking time to look at my blog. I'm way behind in posting here but hope to add more this year.
I bet the homegrown rabbits your family raised were delicious! Some of those domestic breeds get pretty darned big!
It didn't take long at all to clean the rabbit. Probably 10 minutes. lol I know folks can clean them in a matter of seconds but I'm out of practice. I did comment a few times that this sure was easier and quicker than skinning and cleaning a deer or pig. :)

Hope you are having a great Valentine's Day, Thanks!!

cowgirl said...

Oneeye that sounds great!! Awesome that you were able to hunt snowshoes. I've never tried one but hear that they are pretty good eating and pretty large.
Sounds like you had a wonderful upbringing... to be able to go hunting with your brothers.
Congratulations on trapping one this year! I bet it was mighty tasty with that brown gravy. I'm going to try that with the next cottontail.

Bobcats are a problem around here but I've never trapped one. I tried live traps and had no luck.
Good luck with your hunting!
Happy Valentine's Day and thanks for stopping by!

Jim Dorchak said...

Yea my wife gets mad at me because she measures and measures and I do not and my cooking still turns out good:)

We are doing well down here heading into fall. I am in the middle of a barn build right now and it has been a fast summer.
Keep up the cooking! Jim

Errol Judy said...

Can't go wrong with rabbit. At first I wasn't seeing the gravy coming along. Ya gotta have gravy with rabbit. Great meal there!

cowgirl said...

lol Jim, you sound like me. No measuring involved, just toss everything in the pot and give it a taste test.
Congratulations on the barn build, hope that goes well for you!

cowgirl said...

Thank you Errol Judy!!
I like the way you think. Gravy is good stuff. Hope you're having a nice week! :)

Tango Joe said...

It's been a very long time since we have enjoyed some rabbit around here. Great to get out on the porch to find such good eats on foot in the yard.
Great cook indeed - and those taters looked like perfection.

cowgirl said...

Thanks Joe! Good to see ya. :)
Hope winter is treatin' you well!