Healthnotes Index:


Also indexed as:Hare
Rabbit: Main Image

Preparation, Uses, & Tips

Rabbit can be substituted for chicken in many recipes.

Wash rabbit thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Rabbit should always be cooked until well done. For best results, use a meat thermometer inserted in the meatiest part of the rabbit. Internal temperatures should be as follows when the rabbit is done:

Breasts: 170°F (76.6°C)

Whole rabbit and other parts: 180°F (82.2°C)

To make a visual check to see if rabbit is done, pierce it with a fork. You should be able to insert the fork with ease, and the rabbit juices should run clear. Rabbit is thoroughly cooked when it is no longer pink inside.

To tenderize older rabbit or hare, place rabbit or hare in bowl. Pour 1 cup of vinegar over meat, then add enough vinegar to cover. Or marinate in a mixture of beer, garlic, and other spices. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.


In a plastic bag, mix together 1/2 cup (60g) flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add cut-up rabbit parts, a few at a time, and shake to coat. In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil to high temperature. Add rabbit and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until rabbit is brown and fork tender.


Dredge cut-up rabbit in flour and spices. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat, and brown rabbit pieces on each side. Add stock, spices, and vegetables if desired. Cover and bake in the oven at 325°F (160°C), or simmer over low heat on stovetop burner for 1 hour or until meat is fork tender.


Place cut-up rabbit in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add water to cover (2 to 2 1/2 quarts or liters), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (1 small onion; sliced, 1 bay leaf, and 3 celery tops may also be added for richer broth flavor, if desired). Cover and simmer about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat falls off bone. Remove rabbit from pan and cool. Separate meat from bones. Discard bones. Cut rabbit into desired size pieces.


Rub rabbit parts with oil and spices. Place meat on prepared grill with rack about 8 inches (20cm) from heat source. Grill, turning frequently and basting with marinade until fork tender.


In a microwave-safe baking dish, arrange 1 cut-up rabbit in a single layer, with meatier parts toward the edge of the dish. Add broth, wine or water, spices, and vegetables. Cover and cook on High for 7 minutes, then on Low for 20 minutes, or until the rabbit is fork tender.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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