Fry Me Up Some Rabbit, Won’tcha Mom?

Aug 24


In the summer time , we always ate outside on “the acre.” That big, long scrap 2 X 4 table that Buck built . It seemed that the cover . a white with dark red and green squared design oil cloth , was always there. My job was to clean off the dust and food…before and after we used it. Caught hell if I forgot.

Now in the summer , most of middle America will often have fried chicken . Would have been a snap for us to have that too. Damn chickens runnin’ all over the place. You knew it for sure …you see we were barefoot mostly…us  kids. Made a lot of trips to the faucet for a “wash off .” No chickens were sacrificed  up to the hot oil God at our house. Chickens were for eggs . (I need to talk about eggs soon…one of my favorite foods ) I will say that there was the occasional big pot of Chicken and Dumplings on the table. Guess that is what you might call a funeral wake for one of the old gals .

Instead of fried chicken we had fried rabbit .I never had the heart to tell the kids at Winnetka Elementary lunch hour that the “chicken” in my Hopalong Cassidy lunch  box was not really chicken , but cold fried rabbit . (As Foghorn Leghorn has been know to say , “Boy…I say boy! You don’t wants chicken , you wants RABBIT!”) Rabbit it was. They were in the hutch out back by the compost pile . Sort of regulated to the sidelines. Our flock of chickens were admired , fussed over and generally boasted about . Not so the hutches full of rabbits;  they were just there to fry.

So much better than chicken. Practically NO FAT! Funny thing though , I didn’t keep the feet as some people did (lucky?) or the pelts. ( I had my big collection of squirrel tails…very proud of that array. ) They just got thrown away. The disrespect continued.; but fried rabbit is delish! Mom would cut them up into 6 pieces. The best part for me were those big back legs- I called them the ” Hoppin’ Legs “. The front legs were real boney…Mom liked that part. Meatiest pieces are the saddle-in the middle. I sometime helped. Got the Crisco hot in the old black cast iron skillet ; put the pieces , one or two at a time , in a brown paper bag filled with flour , salt and black pepper. Give it a good shake ; tap off the excess flour and gently put in the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pan or the oil gets too cold and there won’t be a crisp skin. Brown nicely on both sides , set on some paper towels ( or more brown paper bags opened flat ) on a cookie sheet . Put them in a 250 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. All you need are your family’s favorite potato salad ; open a jar of pickles from ” the cubby hole “-our word for the pantry – ; maybe some hot corn on the cob ; big glasses of Iced Tea and get down to eatin’ . You also might have to watch the dog’s big sad eyes , looking longingly up at you ,motionless as his tail sweeps a place clean in the dirt behind him. He’ll get some scraps or a plate to lick. After all, he’s family too…isn’t he?

BRAIN RUMBLES TO PONDER …. : Someone once told me that if you had a really big room …. now I’m talkin’ ,  A REALLY BIG DAMN ROOM ! That if you put two rabbits in that room- I think they meant to say one of each type- that in a year you would have a MILLION RABBITS! Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if that is true , we sure would not be having so many starving folks in this world. There wouldn’t be little kids and babies with their bones showing through their skin . Sad little looks on their faces where there should be laughter and smiles. Kinda pisses a guy off, if this is true . As Everett McGill had occasion to say one day on the side of a hot and dusty Georgia railroad track , “Jesus, can’t I count on you people ? ” Think on that for a while, won’t you? I’m pretty sure the “yolks ARE on us , this time.

P.S. Haven’t figured out what to do for the folks that are vegetarians yet!



  1. Dave Cota /

    Did you see “Roger and Me”? Pet’s or food, it all works. I think the vegetarians might be up a creek. Perhaps something Thai or Indian?

    • Did not see “Roger and Me”…will check it out. Vegetarians ? Well, there is the rub. One needs lots of ground for lentils (India ) , wheat , rice, soy , corn , or other legume . It’s a solution that is far bigger than the efforts given today.

      • Dave Cota /

        Logistics and global food issues aside, I just meant that vegitarians might have a hard time getting a full veggie menu out of you. Here’s a writeup on Roger and Me with a short commentary on the rabbit lady.

        • Actually I was a vegetarian for about 2 1/2 years. I wanted to really experience what it would be to be super creative when I had my restaurant with those restrictions. Now , i will admit that I still had to taste the food I was preparing daily …but I was a practicing vegetarian. Learned a lot; then one day I craved a big , fat , juicy cheeseburger ! That took care of the vegie period. Your info is really appreciated and I will follow through thoroughly. Thanks.

    • How cool is that? Don’t you just love physics? I’m sharing this one , for sure…THANKS Dave.

      • Julia /

        Where’s my water bottle?! I have to try that right now!

        • Isn’t that just the coolest? Will try myself soon. Probably need one of those bottles that is the most pliable…I should think.

  2. Dennis /

    I heard a guy talking once while he was eating a big piece of steak. He was suffering through a lecture from some vegetarians who thought he shouldn’t be eating meat. He picked up a piece of his steak and held it out for them to see. He said, “This used to be a vegetarian too, and when we run out of them, we’re coming for you.” The V-people slinked away and didn’t bother him the rest of his meal. d

    • Isn’t it amazing how the real truth can be so powerful. Hurrah for the steak man!Results quickly had.

  3. Ross, now you are making me crave fried rabbit. Really don’t understand why rabbit is not regularly eaten in mainstream America…such a prolific resource!

    Perhaps the Easter Bunny vetoed the idea of rabbit farms :)

    Anyways, lovely post!

    • Wendy! Yeah “silly wabbit”! That is the problem : cartoon rabbits , cute Easter bunnies etc. Not so in Europe (or out on the farms in the US). Over the weekend i was watching one of my favorite cooking shows, “America’s Test Kitchen” and their piece was how to make crispy , done properly fried chicken w/o lots of oil. They browned in 1 ” oil , then put in low oven to finish. I chuckled…that’s the way my mom always did it; including when she made the fried rabbit. . THX, ROSS

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