Buttermilk Fried Rabbit
2 young cottontail rabbits, cut into serving pieces
Brine (recipe below)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup fresh chopped herbs or 1½ teaspoons each of dried parsley, thyme, tarragon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
3 cups grapeseed oil
Mix the buttermilk with mustard, herbs and spices. Coat the brined rabbit pieces with the mixture and marinade overnight in a covered container.
Heat oil in a large cast iron frying pan on medium-high heat to around 350°F.
Drain the marinade from the rabbit in a colander. In a large Ziplock bag, mix flour with garlic and onion powder and a bit of salt and pepper. Place a few rabbit pieces at a time in the plastic bag and shake to coat with flour mixture.
Add rabbit to oil and fry for around 12 minutes. When the first side is crispy and golden, flip and fry for another 10 minutes. Remove and place rabbit on a rack over a cookie sheet to drain. Season with sea salt and pepper immediately to help soak up extra moisture and keep it crispy. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and a simple green salad.
¼ cup kosher salt
4 cups water
Brine for four hours for domesticated rabbits and eight hours for wild rabbits.
Serves 4 to 6
Tasting host Mike Power is the winner of a magnum of our new Bucher Pinot Noir for this rabbit recipe. “Every year,” Mike says, “my old high school friends and I go to a ranch in the middle of nowhere in Chowchilla and spend a few days hunting. There’s lots of ducks and even more rabbits. This is a simple and delicious recipe I developed from our annual ranch trip rabbit harvest.”