Rabbit 2 Ways – Fried and Hasenpfeffer

Kent Rollins Deep Fried Rabbit

Howdy! Thanks for stopping by the website. This week we are talking about rabbit. Y’all have been asking me the best way to prepare rabbit for a long time, so this week I put together two ways to cook up the little rascals.

You’ve probably seen old westerns with a rabbit cooking above a fire on a makeshift spit. While that’ll feed you when you’re hungry, it dries out the meat something fierce.

First, I’m going to show you how to butcher the rabbit to get the best cuts of meat. Then we’ll deep fry one rabbit and prepare the other the German way – in a delicious, rich, peppery broth that makes a dish called Hasenpfeffer. Hasen is “hare” in German, and pfeffer is “pepper.”

How to Properly Butcher a Rabbit

Now, most of you are going to be starting with a whole rabbit. If the rabbit has been cleaned before reaching your kitchen, make sure to take a peek inside the chest cavity and remove any organs that might be left: liver, kidneys, heart, etc. Some folks love to sauté those kidneys and liver in butter, but I’m not one of them.

In order to tenderize the meat, we are going to marinate the rabbit overnight. For the deep fried rabbit, I prepared a buttermilk base with some rosemary and thyme. The recipe below will give you the exact ingredients. Make sure it soaks for a minimum of 12 hours, but 24 is better. When you remove the rabbit from the marinade, pat it dry but do not rinse.

Tip: Break the rabbit’s breastbone so it can lay flat in the marinade.

Once the animal is cleaned, there are about six cuts we’re going to make. Get a good sharp knife and start with the hind legs. The rabbit feet should already be cut off – you can put them on a keychain and they’ll bring you good luck. True story – Shannon used to have a rabbit’s foot, and she later met and married me! If that is not proof that they work, well, I don’t know what is.

After each of the four legs are off, you’ll have the spine and the ribs. Slice clean through the spine three times at equal intervals. The last cut, remove the rib bones to get to that rib meat easier. The diagram below is a good guide. Set aside any spare parts to make rabbit broth or to use in a stew.

Kent Rollins Rabbit Butcher Cut

Deep Fried Rabbit

Get the oil hot, because we’re about to have some delicious, crispy rabbit. To dredge this meat, we want to pat it dry.

Mix baking powder and corn starch with the flour and spices. Those will give the crust a little extra pop. For rabbit, I’m starting with about two cups of all-purpose flour. For the best flavor, use my original seasoning, smoked paprika, and crumbled whole oregano.

Tip: Always dry meat completely before dredging and frying to prevent splatter.

For the wet part of the dredge, mix buttermilk, egg whites, and either vinegar or vodka. When the wet and dry dredges are both ready, go ahead and baptize that bunny rabbit. Dip it in the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients. Repeat for thicker crust.

Tip: Add vinegar or vodka to the buttermilk for a crispier crust.

Once all of the meat is coated, let sit for about five minutes. This will give the wet and dry ingredients time to dry out a little. Remember, dry is always better when you fry. It even rhymes! That’s how you know it’s true.

I’m using peanut oil to fry because it’s a good oil at higher temperatures. Get the oil to about 325 degrees. We don’t want the oil any hotter than 350. Remember that the hind legs are larger and will take longer to cook than the front legs.

Tip: Fry pieces of the same size together. They’ll all be done at the same time.

Fry for 4 to 5 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Turn the meat over about halfway through to ensure it hasn’t stuck to the bottom.

Kent Rollins Fried Rabbit

It tastes so good it’ll make you do the bunny hop! Really, it will. It made me hop all the way back for seconds!


The first time I ever heard of hasenpfeffer was watching Looney Tunes. No joke! Yosemite Sam is told by the King that he needs to prepare him some Hasenpfeffer right away. Yosemite Sam gets a cookbook and discovers the main ingredient is one rascally rabbit.

Butcher the rabbit just like I showed you before. For hasenpfeffer, the marinade is a little different. I used some pickling spices, coriander, and lemon juice and marinated for a full 24 hours. You can get away with 12 but in this case, 24 hours is going to make a difference in how tender that rabbit is going to get.

Pat the rabbit pieces dry and dip them in flour. Shake off any excess – you will want just a light dusting of flour on the outside. Get the skillet hot, melt some butter, and cook each piece for about four minutes per side. Cover the skillet to trap all of that good moisture inside and turn it into steam.

Remove the meat. Scrape all of the brown bits off the bottom with a mesquite spatula. We want to use all that goodness in there to add flavor to the broth.

Add more butter and some minced garlic. Keep the heat low so you don’t burn the garlic. Add sour cream and honey Dijon mustard. Mix well until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Add some wine and bring to a simmer. Place the rabbit back in the skillet, cover, and cook on low until fork tender. This should take about 45 minutes.

Tip: If you don’t have wine, use chicken broth.

Serve with rice, biscuits – this will make a fine meal.

Kent Rollins Hasenpfeffer

As always, I’d like to thank you for watching and sharing our videos. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel and click “like” on all of your favorite videos. Until next time, I’ll see y’all down the bunny hop trail!

Kent Rollins Fried Rabbit

Deep Fried Rabbit - Cowboy Kent Rollins



  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 rabbit cleaned


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Kent Rollins’ Original Seasoning optional
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoons ground mustard
  • ½ tablespoon celery salt
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar or vodka
  • Oil for frying


  • For the brine: mix all the ingredients together except the rabbit, in a large bowl. Cut the rabbit into pieces and add to the wet mixture. Cover and place in the the icebox for 12 to 24 hours.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, Original seasoning, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika mustard, celery salt and oregano.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and white vinegar.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and baking powder.
  • Add about 3 inches of oil to a deep fryer or Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile, remove the rabbit from the buttermilk and pat dry. Dip the rabbit in the wet mixture to coat well, then dredge through the flour mixture. For a thicker crust, repeat. Place on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.
  • Fry the rabbit, a few pieces at a time, for about 4 to 5minutes, or until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Kent Rollins Hasenpfeffer

Hasenpfeffer - Cowboy Kent Rollins



  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Rabbit cut into pieces


  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons Kent Rollins’ Original seasoning or all-purpose blend of your choice
  • 8 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup honey mustard
  • ¾ cup red or white wine or chicken broth


  • For the brine: whisk together the water, vinegar, pickling spice, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, coriander and brown sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Place the rabbit pieces in the mixture, cover and set in the icebox 12 to 24 hours.
  • Remove the rabbit from the brine and pat dry.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour and Original seasoning. Dredge the rabbit through the mixture to evenly coat.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the rabbit pieces to the skillet and cook, covered, for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and set on a plate.
  • To the skillet stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and garlic cloves. Continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the sour cream, honey mustard and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the rabbit pieces. Cover and cook for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the rabbit is fork tender. About 15 minutes into the cooking, flip the rabbit over. Serve warm.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!