Rabbit, squirrel, muskrat and ground hog may all be used in any chicken recipes. Handle rabbit with gloves when cleaning to avoid the possibility of Tularemia infection. Cook the meat to well-done. The meat is tenderest if hung 2-4 days or cooked when VERY fresh, before rigor mortis sets in. Wild rabbit has dark meat; many domestic hares have all white meat.
To dress: sever the front legs at the first joint and discard. Cut through the skin around the hind legs across the hip. Peel down the skin off the legs. Tie the hind feet together and hang over a hook.
The skin will pull down over the upper legs, body and then the forelegs. Pull it over the head, then sever and discard the head and skin. Alternatively in the field step on the front paws and tug upwards on the back leg skin and then stand on the hind paws and pull upwards to peel the skin over the head.
Gut and clean, retaining the heart and liver. Wash the carcass in acidified water ie water with a dash of vinegar. Rinse, pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle lightly with pepper.
To cut into serving pieces: Rabbit is carved differently than chicken. The best way is to sever the four legs and cut the back into three sections for a total of seven portions.
Submitted By JIM WELLER On 04-12-95
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