Rabbit is an edible rodent and may be either wild or domestic. Domestic rabbit has more meat than wild rabbit but the latter is considered to have a finer flavour, although this varies considerably depending on the diet of the rabbit.
Domestic rabbits are bred to be eaten young, that is from 3 to 4 months old.
Rabbit should be cleaned and gutted as soon as it is killed, then hung for 5 to 6 days, depending on the weather. Most butchers will skin a rabbit and prepare it for you if they are given sufficient notice. However, rabbit joints may be bought chilled or frozen from many supermarkets.
A rabbit is usually jointed by cutting away the shoulders or forelegs, the hind legs or thighs and cutting the breast and the saddle or back into two pieces. The meat is usually whitened by marinating it for 8 hours or overnight in a water and vinegar marinade.
To roast rabbit, lard it well and stuff it with a moist stuffing, such as FORCEMEAT OF PORK, to counteract the dryness.
Baste the rabbit frequently during the cooking period. If the rabbit is to be roasted whole, with the head on, truss it by tying the hind legs forward and front legs back with a trussing needle and string. Run a long skewer through the head and into the back to keep the head upright. Roast rabbit in an oven preheated to hot 425°F (Gas Mark 7,220 °C) for 20 to 25 minutes to the pound.
Rabbit may also be casseroled, braised, stewed or fried.