Oven Roasted Rabbit: Recipe & Uses
Our journey into raising and enjoying meat rabbits has been both rewarding and delicious. Not only have we savored the culinary benefits, but we’ve also developed an appreciation for this livestock that has found a special place in our homestead.
Check out my super simple oven-roasted rabbit recipe that can be adapted and added to nearly any meal that calls for shredded chicken.
Our Rabbitry Adventure: A Year of Meat Rabbits
Just under a year ago, we embarked on our meat rabbit journey, captivated by the rapid reproduction and growth rates and their minimal space requirements. With just over an acre on our homestead, the prospect of raising larger livestock is temporarily out of reach. Armed with research and guidance from seasoned local meat rabbit farmers, we eagerly kicked off our venture with our first “breeding trio” in late fall 2022.
Before diving into breeding, our foremost priority was familiarizing ourselves with the intricacies of raising rabbits. We constructed a cage system and four-season shelter, ensured an understanding of their health and dietary needs, and established a daily and weekly care routine that suited our new livestock.
In the early spring of 2023, we initiated our first doe’s breeding cycle. Since then, we’ve maintained a consistent breeding schedule, producing a new litter every 2-3 months. This approach has ensured a steady supply of rabbit meat, perfect for our family of four.
The Tasty Surprise
Despite the considerable investment of time and resources in our rabbitry setup, I had a lingering apprehension about the flavor. I’ve always known that if I don’t genuinely enjoy a particular food, there’s little chance of it growing on me. Right up until the day we cooked our first homegrown rabbit, skepticism loomed.
Fortunately, my concerns were swiftly dispelled! Rabbit, as it turns out, tastes remarkably similar to chicken. In fact, I dare say it surpasses chicken in its chicken-like taste. When served side by side, discerning any difference between the two meats would be nearly impossible.
One invaluable lesson I’ve learned from cooking rabbits is the virtue of simplicity. While rabbit meat is undeniably tasty, the quantity per animal may only suffice for two people if it’s the main dish.
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To make the most of this meat, I prefer to roast it with minimal ingredients and then shred it.
Then, it is easy to substitute rabbit for any recipe that calls for shredded chicken.
Here are a few ideas that have become family favorites:
1. **Rabbit Tacos**
2. **Rabbit Burrito Bowls**
3. **Rabbit Broccoli Alfredo**
4. **Rabbit Salad Sandwiches**
5. **Rabbit Pot Pie**
6. **Rabbit Noodle Soup**
7. **Rabbit and Biscuits**
8. **Rabbit Bacon Ranch Pizza**
Roasted Rabbit Recipe
- 1 whole rabbit approx. 2.5-3lbs (fully skinned, with organs, head, and feet removed)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons powdered dried garlic
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 325°F
- Prepare the rabbit: Rinse the rabbit thoroughly and pat it dry. Place it flat on a roasting pan backside up. You may need to cut of break the bones of the chest cavity and hips to achieve this.
- Season the rabbit: Drizzle olive oil over the rabbit, ensuring it's evenly coated on both sides. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic over both sides of the rabbit.
- Roast the rabbit: Place the rabbit in the preheated oven and roast for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Baste the rabbit with its juices after about one hour.
- Rest and serve: Once done, remove the rabbit from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes or until cool enough to shred.
- Shred: Using your hands and a fork, peel away the meat from the bones. Ensure you get the meat from all four legs and from both sides of the backbone.
- Add: Substitute this shredded rabbit into any recipe that calls for shredded chicken, or eat it as the main protein in your favorite meal.