Recipe & Wine Pairing
We love the opportunity to indulge in rabbit for dinner. It’s extremely sustainable, with a larger meat to bone ratio than chicken and the ability to produce 6x the meat of a cow on the same amount of food & water. And since the meat is so lean and easily digestible; break bad with a little bit of chicken-fried goodness!
2 ½ lb rabbit – cut in 10 pieces
2 C. cold buttermilk
¼ C. stone ground cornmeal
1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
1 t. dried sage
1/2 t. dried thyme
½ t. cayenne pepper
4 C. peanut or vegetable oil
1 C. olive oil
3 ½ t. salt
Combine the buttermilk and 2 ½ t. salt. Add the rabbit to coat thoroughly and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. In a large Ziploc bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, sage, thyme, cayenne and 1 t. salt and shake well.
Remove the rabbit from the buttermilk, dripping off the excess, and place in the cornmeal mixture, shaking to coat thoroughly. Place on a wire rack over a backing sheet.
In a large saucepan, combine oils and heat to 365 degrees. Add the rabbit and fry about 10 minutes, turning once, until golden on the outside and white throughout. Let sit for 5 minutes on paper towels to drain and cool, and add a dash of coarse salt.
We love wines with just a hint of sweetness to bring out the sage & cayenne in this mixture. Generally speaking, we love an airy sparkling with anything fried, but it’s important not to go too light or it won’t carry its weight to the oils and cornmeal.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are left on the lees for two years, bringing Scharffenberger Brut Excellence a bold enough character to stand up to the fried rabbit, with notes of vanilla and caramel, and a freshly baked bread that marries well with its fruit-forwardness.
If you’re looking for something a little less daring, try Robert Stemmler Estate Grown Pinot Noir. You’ll find cherry and forest floor on the nose with hints of cinnamon and balanced acidity on the tongue.