Now that I have my lungs back, I’ve been taking walks around the lake near my home. Now that I’ve read The Hunger Games, I have an insatiable need to hunt woodland critters. Put ’em together and my lakeside strolls have become preoccupied with fantasies of snaring a cute little bunny rabbit. I will hug him and squeeze him and name him George and skin him and roast him and suck out the foodstuffs. To anyone offended by the image of that… rabbits want to die. They really do. What won’t eat them directly can still win in a knife fight. Shine a flashlight into their eyes and they may die of shock. Know why they hump like themselves? Because only a fifth of wild kits survive into adulthood. Face it, lagomorphs simply aren’t long for this world. Good thing they’re tasty.
If I sound heartless, I’m mostly not. I respect that bunnies make excellent pets and—as a fellow animal lover—empathize with whatever emotional attachment their owners have. But, when the revolution comes, we’ll do what we must and there’s no harm in having a bit of practice. Whereas Russell is forever sharpening his knife for the zombie invasion, my concerns are much more Orwellian. I believe individual greatness is the soul of societal progress and the idea of Big Brother (in any capacity) is an affront to that. This is probably why I consumed Suzanne Collins’ trilogy in under a week: her dystopian interpretation of America, “Panem,” preys on my greatest fears as a (wannabe) freethinking intellectual. Do I really believe we might get cordoned off into districts, annually forced to sacrifice our children as tribute to our evil overlords? No, but just in case, here’s a great rabbit-centric recipe for when we’re having to live off the fat of the land—ironic, given that bunnies are among the leanest of meat and, hence, have no fat off which to live:
Plumper Thumper (Stuffed Rabbit)
- 2–3 lb whole rabbit
- 1 loaf rustic bread
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3.5 oz roasted chestnuts
- 3 oz pancetta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 honey
- 1 tsp orange zest
This is a complicated one, so bear with me.
Preheat oven to 400˚. Cube bread loaf and spread out on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until toasted. While bread is toasting, slice fennel bulbs and place in a single layer on the bottom of a small roasting pan. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop any remaining fennel (should be about 1/2 cup remaining). Saute pancetta, fennel and onion in the olive oil until veggies are soft. Crumble the chestnuts into large pieces, add to veggie mix. Place toasted bread cubes, veggie mix, melted butter, 3/4 cup of the orange juice, 1/4 cup wine and orange zest into a large bowl and stir until the bread has absorbed all of the liquid. (I had to let my stuffing sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid and then stir it some more.)
Now take the little bunny rabbit and sprinkle him (inside and out) with salt and pepper. Stuff the body cavity with the lovely stuffing you just made and run moronically around your kitchen, looking in every drawer for something to truss that sucker together (or think ahead and have butcher string). Truss away. Place the rabbit in the roasting pan on top of the fennel. Mix 1/4 cup wine, 1/4 honey and 1/4 cup orange juice in a small saucepan. Stir and heat until ingredients are well-blended. Pour over rabbit and place in oven. Roast for a total of 1–1 1/2 hours, basting with pan drippings every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow meat to rest for at least 5 minutes.
You will have extra stuffing. I placed mine in a glass baking dish and cooked it next to the rabbit for the final 30 minutes. This ends up being very tasty (duh), but for over a $9 a pound, the rabbit really did just taste like chicken. I could’ve saved a couple of sawbucks by just getting myself a fowl. Oh well.
Before any screwball (vegan, activist or other) asks… no, I wouldn’t eat my dog. That is what we call a leap in logic. True, this post is advocating pets as food, but if you are willfully/woefully ignorant of the difference between Peter Cottontail and man’s best friend, you are just spoiling for a fight. My rule of thumb is simple: Can it be left to run freely through your home and yard, alone and uncaged? No? Then it’s fodder for the end times.
TWTG says, “You can fix fat. You can even fix ugly. But you can’t fix stupid.”