Recipe: Popcorn Rabbit

posted on April 17, 2021

Jackrabbits, cottontails and hares are excellent table fare. These animals look dainty but have large muscles that are easy to remove from the bone. A little work to remove silver skin and larger sinew ensure tender flavorful bites.

Anyone familiar with fast food has heard of the bite-sized nuggets often referred to as “popcorn chicken.” The crunchy, coated nuggets are a teaser for a bigger meal and are prepared easily with rabbit or hare.

If in a hunting camp and have a rabbit or two, try making popcorn rabbit for a starter. Chances are the entire hunting crew will be looking for rascally rabbits the next day. Consider this recipe for those days when you bag one or two rabbits and want to eat them fresh. It might not be enough for a full meal, but the appetizer round will have everyone hopping to the serving plate.

Brine the meat overnight and prepare it the next day for tender results.

Brine Ingredients
• 2 rabbits or hares, boned and cut into bite-sized pieces
• 4 cups cold water
• 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt (smoked or with herbs is even better)
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a sealable bag or plastic container, shake or stir to dissolve the salt—place in the fridge overnight, or at minimum two hours.

Popcorn Ingredients
• 1 cup flour, ⅔ reserved
• 1 Tbsp cornstarch
• 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp smoked paprika
• 2 eggs
• Butter
• Oil

"Popcorn chicken" nuggets made from rabbit meat


1. Remove the rabbit pieces from the brine and rinse with cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. Place ⅓ cup of flour in a sealable plastic bag and add the rabbit pieces. Shake well to coat all the pieces thoroughly.

2. Beat the two eggs in a shallow bowl.

3. Combine ⅔ cup flour, cornstarch, Himilayan sea salt, garlic powder, pepper and smoked paprika into a bag. Dip the rabbit pieces in the egg and add them to the flour mixture—shake well to coat. Do the rabbit in small batches to prevent them from sticking together.

4. Add the butter and oil to a cast-iron Camp Chef frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to brown on the edge of the pan, place coated rabbit pieces in and keep them spaced. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until nicely browned, turn, and cook another 2 minutes.

5. Serve with Bearded Butcher barbecue sauce or a favorite dipping sauce, or eat them as is.

For more delicious wild-game recipes, click here. 


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