According to K-Paul “if you don’t hover between pleasure and pain when you eat it, chances are you haven’t made your sauce piquant hot enough!”
Once we had the beautiful easter eggs for brunch, we had to have the Easter Bunny for dinner. Good thing all of the children are grown. I never would have fixed this Easter Meal when they were little. 😮
As I noted in the post on Seafood File Gumbo, I lived in Louisiana as a young man and worked in the oil patch in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yep, that’s me at 22 with muscles and a stache. My how time has passed. As a result of my experience in Louisiana, I love, love, love cajun cooking not to mention the fun and beauty of Louisiana and its culture. This post is about the first time I ever ate rabbit.
One week in 1976 when I finished my 7 day tour offshore, a friend of mine invited me to go hunting. I inquired what we were hunting inasmuch as it was late fall. He informed me we were going to go rabbit hunting down in Cypremort Point. My friend lived in Jeanerette, about a 20 minute drive from marsh land in Cypremort Point and we were hunting marsh rabbits. You see, my friend loved beagles and beagles hunt rabbits. In fact, he had prize winning beagles that were incredible rabbit hunters. People would come from all over Louisiana and breed his studs because they were such good rabbit hunters. I never knew this and was surprised as he was spinning his tale. It was also interesting because, being from Texas, all I had ever seen were little cotton tails and a few behemoth jack rabbits, none of which you would eat. Because this would be new and fun I went.
We got off the rig, did the obligatory 1 hour chopper ride to Morgan City, got in our cars, drove to his house in Jeanerette, La., went to sleep and got up early the next morning to drive to Cypremort Point. In the process, we stopped by and grabbed another buddy who quite casually warned me not to shoot one of my friend’s dogs. I thought he was kidding but he explained that one of their other buddies actually shot one of my friend’s dogs because this other unknown friend didn’t wait for the rabbit to come out from the underbrush before he shot. Not surprisingly, this man accidentally shot one of the dogs. So, in retaliation, my friend shot him. 😮 Now understanding the gravity of the matter in which I had placed myself, I promised not to shoot one of his dogs. I also prayed I would make it through the day without getting shot myself.
After a coffee stop, about 40 minutes later we finally arrived at the marsh location. I got out of the car, loaded the shotgun, packed a box of shells, sprayed myself liberally with Outdoors Off and headed out with my buddies. Once we got out into the marsh I finally understood all the Louisiana T-Shirts stating the mosquito was the State Bird of Louisiana. Now I had seen lots of mosquitos in Louisiana and had spent a lot of time in the swamps but I wasn’t prepared for this experience. They weren’t exceptionally large but there were soooooooooo many of them. It didn’t matter how much Off I sprayed on myself these mosquitos were undeterred. They were sooo thick you couldn’t swat them. You wiped them off your body! I have never seen anything like it before or since. Nonetheless, after a day of tormented hunting and my eyes ultimately swelling shut from the numerous mosquito bites we managed to bag a couple of 12+ pound marsh rabbits and went back to Jeanerette to fix them for dinner. This was the meal we had for dinner. It’s a wonderful, spicy meal. If you want a true cajun treat, give this a try.
- 1-1/2 Tbsp fine grain sea salt
- 1-1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1-1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp fresh ground white pepper
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
For the Rest
- 2-1/2 lb rabbit
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups bell peppers, seeded and hopped
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup jalapeños, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp Tabaso Sauce
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
In a small bowl, mix the seasoning ingredients together and set aside.
Cut the rabbit into pieces. Remove the front legs and back legs. Cut the breast away from the back. Then cut the back and breast in half.
Sprinkle 2-1/2 Tbsp of the seasoning mix on the rabbit pieces. and rub into the meat
Put flour and1 Tbsp of seasoning mix into gallon zip log bag and mix. Add the rabbit pieces and shake to coat the rabbit with flour/seasoning mix. Shake off any excess four.
Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy bottom skillet, preferably cast iron, to fill 1/4 inch of the skillet with oil and heat over high heat. When a piece of flour fries, add the rabbit pieces being sure not to overcrowd the skillet.
Fry the rabbit on one side for approximately 2 minutes until it turns a golden brown, at which point turn and fry on the other side for another 2 minutes.
When done, put on a rack to drain and fry the remaining pieces. When the rabbit is all fried, remove the skillet from the heat. Pour all all but 1/4 cup of oil from the pan keeping the sediment. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeños and celery to the oil and stir to incorporate.
Turn on heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Next add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, remaining spice mix, and Tabasco Sauce and incorporate.
Continue to cook another 5 minutes stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom so it does not stick. Now add the broth
Then the tomato sauce
Cook another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the rabbit to the skillet placing the meatiest pieces on the bottom.
Cover and turn the heat to very low. Simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove from heat. Put rabbit and sauce into a serving vessel.
Serve with a little white rice and enjoy.
13 thoughts on “Easter Bunny Rabbit in Sauce Piquant”
Well if you’re going to murder the Easter bunny, at least it’s for a good cause. This looks pretty delicious, never eaten rabbit but the sauce alone sounds amazing enough to convince me – love cajun flavours!
Glad it sounds good. Always nice to hear from you.
Very nice job here photographing and explaining. Were you able to enjoy the rabbit meal after getting all those mosquito bites? You would have had to drive me to the hospital if I was there.
Thanks for your nice comment. It was a difficult day but food always improves your spirit. WIth the drive back to his house and the time it took him to clean and cook the rabbit I was feeling much better and very hungry. Nonetheless, it took me several days to get over the whole ordeal. I still get bit by mosquitos but oddly enough now the mosquitoes typically go after everyone else before they bother me. Maybe I paid my dues.
I came here looking for the cajun seasoning, but got a nice old picture and an interesting recipe for rabbit as a bonus 🙂 I’m bookmarking that for later and may do a sous-vide version of your cajun rabbit.
As for the cajun seasoning, I’m not really big on garlic powder and onion powder. Is it okay to leave out or substitute with fresh onion and fresh garlic in the dish?
Stefan, generally, I agree with you on the use of powdered garlic and powdered garlic. Fresh is so much better but the garlic powder and onion powder are used only in the seasoning. The seasoning is killer with various types of meats and fish. It has to adhere to whatever is being seasons and cannot burn when seared or cooked typically over high heat. This would be difficult to accomplish with fresh. The sauce uses fresh onions and garlic and this piquant sauce is really fabulous..
Thanks, Richard. I see why the adhering and non-burning is important for pan-fried preparations. Since I’m cooking the fish sous-vide, both are taken care of in a different way. As I write this, in my sous-vide is gurnard (as a substitute for grouper) seasoned with white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and dry thyme, and a sauteed Cajun trinity of minced onion, celery and bell pepper 🙂 So not really following your recipe, but certainly inspired by it 🙂
I’m anxious to see the post. 🙂
Made a sous-vide version of this and it was very nice indeed 🙂 I did use less tabasco though 😉
Great story! I am originally from not too far from where you made that hunt. I make Rabbit Sauce Piquant often. The ingredients I us are similar to yours, but a main difference is that my I make a roux 1st, which is the basis of my Sauce Piquant.