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Fried Rabbit

Fried Rabbit

This fried rabbit recipe will make a believer out of anyone—just don't mention Thumper.


  • 1 3-lb. rabbit, cut into 6 pieces, rib cage reserved for another use (such as stock)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
  • 2 3-inch strips lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Place rabbit in a medium pot; add 1 Tbsp. salt, next 5 ingredients, and water if needed so that rabbit is completely submerged. Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat; immediately reduce heat and gently simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 135°, about 20 minutes. Let rabbit cool in cooking liquid. Drain rabbit; discard liquid.

  • Meanwhile, whisk crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Add rabbit to marinade, turning to coat well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 24 hours.

  • Lightly toast fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Grind in spice mill and transfer to a medium bowl; whisk in remaining 2 tsp. salt and flours.

  • Pour oil into a large deep skillet to a depth of 1 inch. Prop deep-fry thermometer in oil so bulb is submerged. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Working in 2 batches, dredge rabbit in flour mixture, shaking off any excess, and fry, turning once and adjusting heat to maintain a steady temperature, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°, about 10 minutes. Transfer rabbit to prepared rack. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if using, and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Recipe by Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria in New York NY,Photos by Ashley RodriguezReviews Section

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