Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Kentucky Fried Bunny - seriously, try it....

I loathe fast food. I loathe it in and of itself, i loathe how it purports to be the affordable alternative to 'real' food, I loathe the advertising, the plastic crap, the targeting of children and those living adjacent to the poverty line, the garish colours, the flavour combinations (even the fact that I have to write 'flavour combinations' makes me gag). You get the picture.

What I find most satisfying is simply to make my own - from burgers to kebabs, pizzas to hot dogs and even - if you can bear it - fried chicken. Loads nicer and doesn't get that peculiar leathery texture that the most famous brand seems to acquire an approximate 8 minutes after buying. This weekend - after a particularly French brasserie-esque meal - more about that later on the Saturday, Sunday felt like a day for dinner in front of the TV, eaten with our hands. But chicken I had none; well, I did, but it was remains of a roast for which I had plans, so I dug out a rabbit I had in the freezer, followed the same method as I would for chicken and, reader, it was F.A.B. I'm posting the recipe below - please please try it, adapt it and make it again and again. Even with chicken, if you must.

1 rabbit (I happened to have farmed; wild would benefit from the same treatment)
1 pot buttermilk + 100ml milk or 300ml milk
120g-ish of plain flour
Cayenne pepper or chilli powder
English mustard powder
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper

Join the rabbit. It's dead easy with a big knife, cutting off the 4 legs and then chopping the saddle straight across into 3 or 4 pieces. If you feel squeamish about this, by all means get your butcher/boyfriend/husband/Pa to do this, but I like a bit of butchery, I must say...

Cover the rabbit pieces in the milk or buttermilk/milk combination. The reason to do this is two-fold. It tenderises the rabbit now and results in a moister finish after frying. (I nicked the idea from Nigella - it works a treat for chicken too). I left it about 30 minutes, then I tipped both bunny and milk into a saucepan, brought it up to the boil with the lid on and left it simmering until the meat was cooked through. Took about 20 minutes, but just keep testing. You want no hint of pink.

When the rabbit is cooked, lift it out of the pan. Admittedly at this point in time, it's going to look a god-awful mess, but nonetheless, set the rabbit pieces on a draining rack to cool and soak your pan in washing up liquid and water! (That's very important - it's a bugger to clean, that pan, if you're not prepared.)

While the rabbit's cooling, mix the flour with the cayenne, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a freezer bag or such like. How much you use is up to you - how fiery you like your coating - I go for the idea of something devilled, so I used 2 tsp cayenne and about the same of mustard. Once the rabbit has cooled to about room temp, dredge it in the flour, dip it in the beaten egg, then dredge it in the flour again and place back on the rack, while you do each piece. You might find the flour seems to wear off or disappear a bit - just shake over some more, that's where the crusty bits come from.

Now obviously, you could deep fry this, but I don't have an electric fryer, I didn't have enough oil to put in a wok, so I just heated about 1 cm vegetable oil in my sauteuse (deep sided frying pan) and when sizzling, added the rabbit in batches, turning them when golden brown and deliciously crusted. They're not cooking through at this point, you're just making them look gorgeous, so they are done when they look appetising to you.

We ate this with a squeeze of lemon and some chips, some aioli (garlic mayonnaise - our current addiction) and a tomato-chilli salsa, which i made from some left-over roasted tomatoes, plus 1 fresh, some chill, worcester sauce and a squirt of ketchup for luck. It would be good with some spicy potatoes a la patatas bravas, like the Spanish, or I fancy the way the Greeks do their chips, with a light scattering of Kefalotiri cheese, if you can find it.

Never did a bunny meet such a good end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard about this and was sad to miss it but we went to Putney in the end for drinks by the river as the sun was unrelenting. But alas we had no dinner. So we got in with a stomach full of jamesons and did a full english breakfast at about 1am! Nothing like starting early. Let me know when you do your next west norwood fried chicken colonel-ess as I'll be there with bells on. Rich