I love chicken strips. I’m talking LOVE. When i was a tween/teenager i would order ONLY chicken strips when we went out to eat…. to the point that i had to make myself a hard and fast rule to ‘not order chicken strips even once and try new things!’ when my mom and i took a vacation to Scotland. That really expanded my horizons….. but i still really love chicken strips. You CAN use this recipe to make real chicken strips, but my version uses something special: rabbit belly!
Did i just trip you up a little bit? Never heard of rabbit belly as an ingredient? Well, let me tell you: on the entire 3.5 pounds of a young rabbit fryer the belly is my very favorite part. And to think some people discard it! (Are you still hung up on rabbit as ‘meat’? If so, you’re probably an American and not alone in your opinion. But in many other parts of the world rabbit is celebrated as the sustainable, nutritious, delicious meat that it is. I am proud to raise rabbits as meat-livestock and to serve them to my family and guests, and i hope you’ll give rabbit a try!) OK, enough hopping around the bush – let’s get that recipe!
- Rabbit bellies, 3 per person
- Flour mixture: half flour, half fine cornmeal (about a handful each for 2 servings.)
- Seasonings: Your favorite! Cajan seasoning is great, or just salt and pepper. About a teaspoon of your favorite blend.
- 2 eggs, scrambled and salted
Rabbit ‘belly’ i usually found as two flaps behind the ribs and along the loins. The belly may be in tact and un-sliced along the center and appear as a thin membrane behind the ribs. When you quarter a whole rabbit you usually leave them attached to serve the loin as ‘saddles’. But i always cut them off and save them up in the freezer to make a big batch of delicious rabbit jerky or as “bun-strips” for dinner. Since trying out this recipe once, it has become a family favorite. We just can’t get enough! Serve with some oven fries, steamed veggies and some dipping sauce: Who needs a fast food restaurant? We’ve got real food, fast!
- Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Grease a cookie sheet with a thin layer of grapeseed oil or lard.
- Scramble your eggs, mix up your flour mixture, and check over your rabbit bellies removing any fat by pulling it off with your fingers.
- Pick up a belly by the pointy end and dip into egg, getting both sides. Pat into flour, turn and coat each side. Dip into egg again. Pat into flour again. Sprinkle some flour on any exposed areas and place in cookie sheet. Your fingers will get all floury/eggy, but deal with it. If you have tiny little sugar cube tongs use those! I don’t.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and flip. Bake for another 10-12 minutes. Check doneness by poking in the center of the largest strip – juice should run clear.
This recipe can be used for chicken tenders instead of rabbit bellies. To substitute chicken: Cut breast off of a whole chicken, remove skin. Cut off double breast and slice remaining larger breast into similarly sized strips. (Or just buy chicken tenders if you’re not a whole chicken purchaser/grower such as myself.) Follow recipe above.
Perhaps you want to try rabbit but aren’t sure how to cook the whole thing? Maybe you have a guest who’se leery about eating rabbit… This is a great recipe for trying this versatile meat and if you’re sneaky you can serve it to a friend without them knowing it’s rabbit. I would NEVER do that, though. Ever. I’m totally honest in the kitchen. 😉 This recipe is sure to become a family favorite in YOUR house as well! And if you live nearby, i hope you’ll consider buying your locally raised rabbit from me. Enjoy!
What’s the most ‘exotic’ animal/meat you’ve eaten? Where you afraid to try it, and how did you like it?