I have seen my mom’s maid cut-up chicken, so that’s how I learned how to cut chicken into pieces. I also saw my mom cut open crabs, but I have never attempted to do it here. Well, the ones that my mom got were alive, so she had to be careful in delivering a critical stab to end the crab’s suffering. What else? My mom also bought frog legs before, but I don’t remember much if there were a lot of preparation. So no lesson learned there. The one thing that my mom never bought and prepared was rabbit.
Actually, I could be wrong. We had rabbits before, but they were not for food. They were our pets. I was very young though, so I barely remember anything about those rabbits other than the memory of having rabbits as pets.
So when Hubby gave me a printout of a rabbit stew, I was smiling. Well, for one thing, I had to find out where we could find rabbits. I know the Chinese grocery definitely will have rabbits, even if it was frozen. So I called 99 Ranch, and alas! They did not have rabbits due to recent recalls. Huh?? Then I remember reading a veterinarian’s blog preparing her own cat food using raw chicken and raw rabbits. I looked on the web, but then I was wary of ordering the rabbits – I don’t know if there are any difference between animals prepared for pet food or human consumption. So I decided to call around again, and finally found out that the specialty store, HEB Central Market, carries rabbit. It even carries fresh whole rabbits as well as frozen cut up rabbits.
So I sent Hubby to get the rabbits, and he got one whole fresh rabbit and one box of frozen, cut up rabbit. Luckily the rabbits we got were farm raised, so I didn’t have to soak the rabbits in salt water to remove the gamey taste.
And thankful for the resourcefulness of internet, I found two sources that I used as a guide in cutting rabbit. One is from Saveur Magazine, and the other one was a youtube video of a chef cutting a rabbit.
This is the whole rabbit in it’s packaging. It’s pretty interesting that there is only 50 calories from fat.
This is the rabbit out of its packaging. No head and no tail, no floppy ears so you don’t feel sorry for them.
This is the underside of the rabbit, where the hind legs were kind of tucked into its rib cage.
After releasing the rear legs out of the rib cage, you can see the meaty part of the legs.
First, I spread both rear legs open, to the point a crack could be heard. Then, using my big old cleaver, I cut the left rear leg on the joint, with the cleaver perpendicular to the body of the rabbit.
Then I cut the other leg the same way.
Next was the front leg. It almost reminded me on how to cut the wings of a chicken. First I sliced the connecting tissue from the front leg to the chest.
Then I cut the leg down right at the joint. I repeated the same steps on the other leg.
When I only had the body, I grabbed both the rear and front parts of the body with both hands, and bent the body until a cracking sound was heard. Using my cleaver, I cut the body into half, where the joint was breaking earlier.
Then I split the rear half of the body into two…
And sliced the front part of the chest into two.
There you go! How to cut a whole rabbit. Whew!! 🙂
Our conclusion after this exercise though was we’ll just buy the cut up, frozen rabbit. We couldn’t tell a difference in taste between fresh and frozen rabbit, at least not in the stew recipe. 🙂