A friend came by this weekend with a hare-raising tale. He claimed that the way he had been cooking rabbits made them too tender. I don't know if he was just trying to hare-ass me or if he really needed a couple of different recipes for rabbit. Anyhow I began to working on a hare-brained scheme to cook up some rabbit that would be tasty but not too tender.
As with most game, hares must be carefully cleaned of all hair. Pellet or bullet holes ought to be cut out to remove any hair carried into the carcass. If the intestines were punctured, field dress the rabbit at once and remove contaminated parts. Refrigerate the rabbit(s) for 2-3 days in a marinade of 1/2 milk and 1/2 water. Use a plastic bag or a covered dish and make certain that the rabbit is fully immersed. This marinade absorbs gamy flavors, tenderizes a little but leaves the flavoring options open. Other, more traditional, game marinades add flavors that restrict subsequent treatment.
Although you may think this is all red-haring, I call it rare bit of rabbitry.
Remove the rabbits from marinade, dry and allow to come to room temperature. For each rabbit, mix:
1 T. Paprika
1 T. Chili powder
2 t. Garlic powder
1 t. Onion powder
1 t. Oregano
1 t. Cumin, ground
1 t. Salt
Mix well and rub 1/2 into the rabbit, cover with a cloth and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. Add remainder to 3 T. peanut oil or olive oil and 3 T. water. Bring to a boil, then allow to cool. If you can handle it, substitute the oil from canned jalapeno peppers. Be aware that if you do, it changes the recipe to "Major Hoolihan".
With your own personal sterilized and unshared hypodermic needle, inject about 1/2 the seasoned oil mixture into the rabbit. Not too much in one place; spread it around. Let sit for 10-15 minutes while you fire up the grill for roasting. Temperature between 325 and 350 degrees. Add a few pieces of green fruit wood. When the coals and the cook are ready, place the rabbit on the grill, baste both sides with the remaining oil and close the cover.
Come back in about 30 minutes, baste and turn and baste. Take another 30 minute break. When you return the rabbit should beautifully done.
Serve him up with a guacamole salad, refried beans, tortillas and plenty of the cold beverage of your choice. Aiii yiii yiii! Will bring tears to your eyes and memories of the "Bunny Hop".