This is a recipe I have been inventing in my head for a while. I like the taste of hot wings (if I don’t think about all the preservatives and artificial flavor enhancers in most of the ones I’ve eaten) but I hate the sticky, slimy skin. Making rabbit legs perfect, since they don’t have any skin!
You could use this sauce and method with chicken, pork or it would probably be good on any meat! I toned down the heat and made this with a whole rabbit for potluck. I didn’t get to do the last part in the oven-some things are just asking too much at a potluck- and I think the dish really wasn’t as good without it. Since I only took one front leg home I think it was still a hit.
Rabbit has more texture than your typical Cornish Cross chicken. The meat is mostly white; there are really small amounts of darker meat. Rabbit is a little richer than other white meats in my opinion and part of why I like it so much.
We regularly have meat rabbits for sale. If you are interested, contact us early so we can reserve yours in an up-coming litter.
tbs tomato paste
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sage
tbs dried onions
tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
tsp chili powder salt free
2/3 cup water
5 cloves of garlic minced.
Rinse your meat. If we butchered a rabbit for you then you will have a whole rabbit to do this with. It will still have the neck, that will be mostly blood shot, and the extra fat on it. Give the neck to your cat/dog/snake, other carnivorous animal, or cut the blood shot off and use what’s left for soup or making stock. Cut the legs, back and front off, taking the most meat possible with them. You can leave the rest of the rabbit in one piece or cut out the tender loin, back strap and “flank steak” the flaps of meat extending from the ribs. The remaining frame can be used for soup, stock or fed to the before mentioned carnivore in your life. The extra fat you can use to cook in. We try our hardest to have the cleanest rabbit possible but rabbit hair sticks to everything so check yours well. Measure out all your seasonings, add the water and whisk so everything dissolves. Pour the sauce over your rabbit in the crock pot. Turn it on high and cook covered 3 1/2 hours or until just tender. Then transfer the meat to an oven proof dish and pour the liquids over it. Place that into a preheated 400°F oven. Whenever the meat starts to look dry, spoon the sauce over the meat again. Cook until the sauce thickens and reduces by 1/2 or 3/4.
The front legs of a rabbit have more meat on them than a chicken wing but are still relatively small so we freeze them in bigger groups, usually from four rabbits in a package. The package I opened had seven legs, I counted three times. I’m pretty sure I would have remembered us having a three leg-ed rabbit; so what happened to the eighth leg?
To make this good there are two things you need to pay attention to: cook the rabbit in the crock pot until it’s just tender. Otherwise it will turn into unappetizing mush. Second, baste the meat really well while it is in the oven. Every single time it starts to look dry, baste again. And make sure to cook the sauce down to a nice glaze.
You could do this recipe with an old rabbit; you would just have to cook it in the crock pot longer to make it tender before moving to the oven.
The sauce is spicy so you might want to cut back or leave out some of the hot ingredients if that’s not your thing. I think this amount of sauce is good for about 3 lbs of meat, which is about how much our rabbits weigh butchered. The batch of front legs we used weighed a lot less than that, maybe 1 1/2 pounds. So if you want the most flavorful version of this, double the sauce for every 2 lbs of meat you use.
I only used garlic salt because I was almost out of granulated garlic; I keep garlic salt for that sort of emergency. If you want to use garlic powder/granules and salt instead, substitute 1 tsp garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. The chili powder I used was salt free so if yours or any of your other spices include salt you will need to cut the salt back accordingly. My tomato paste, it did include salt, was from a can I had divided into heaping tablespoons and froze in wax-paper. That way I don’t waste it and can use just what I need.
|After coming out of the crock pot.|
|After coming out of the oven.|
Both times, I made this with the crock pot on high and have yet to try it on a lower letting. If you try this, especially on a different setting or with different meat, comment below about how long it took and how it turned out!