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Features // Blog

How To: Cook Wild Rabbit

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by

Dani R

Sep 30, 2021
8 minutes to read

​Jenny White, food writer for Wild & Game, explains how and why to cook wild rabbit, alongside sharing her favourite rabbit recipes

A delicious and sustainable source of meat, rabbit works a treat as a more interesting alternative to chicken and can be cooked and served in many similar ways. As well as offering a fuller flavour than chicken, it’s also a very healthy option. Rabbit meat is lower in calories than most meats, low in fat, rich in protein and an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and trace elements including B3 and B12, phosphorus, potassium and selenium. It’s also a better source of omega 3 fats than chicken or pork. We’d recommend cooking with wild rabbit over farmed.

Buying an oven-ready rabbit will save you having to do much to it before cooking it, although many recipes will require you to joint is (see common solutions and problems, below). Like most game, rabbit is a lean meat, so the best ways to cook it involve sealing in as much moisture as possible. Here are some of the best ways to cook it:

In Stews and Casseroles

Joint the rabbit and cook in the oven at a low temperature – around 150°C/ Fan 130°C/Gas 2, until tender – about 2 hours, which will make the rabbit pieces will be deliciously tender. You can also add pieces of fatty pork belly or bacon to rabbit stews and casseroles.

Chicken stock makes a great base for rabbit stew and casseroles; we also recommend cider. It’s also worth pointing out that the rabbit pieces, after being stewed, can be used to make a rabbit pie - just remove the meat from the bones, reduce the stock and then add a dash of cream.

Substitute Rabbit in Chicken Dishes

Image for blog - How To: Cook Wild Rabbit

Try using rabbit in place of chicken in some of your favourite dishes. Raymond Blanc’s succulent braised chicken in mustard is a particularly good one, as it’s based on a French rabbit dish his mother used to make!


Joint the rabbit or cut down the rib cage and press the rabbit flat. Marinade it if desired (see guidelines below) and cook as you would chicken.


Image for blog - How To: Cook Wild Rabbit

Joint the rabbit and heat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/ Gas 7. Toss the rabbit in oil and roast in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Roasted rabbit pairs really well with a wine sauce (and of course, roast potatoes!)

Pan Fried

Joint the rabbit and be mindful of the fact that each cut will need a different cooking time. Fry on a medium heat until the internal temperature of each of the rabbit pieces is 71°C.

Common Problems and Solutions 

Difficulty jointing the rabbit

Written instructions can be confusing, so before jointing a rabbit for the first time, hop online and search for tutorial videos. It will make the process so much easier.


As a lean, wild meat, rabbit can be tough due to all the exercise rabbits get in the wild. Marinating rabbit meat is a great way to tenderise and flavour it prior to cooking. A basic marinade can be made with 1 part vinegar, lemon juice or wine to 3 parts olive oil. Add a crushed garlic clove and herbs and spices of your choice. Place the rabbit in the marinade and leave it in the fridge for anything from 10 minutes to several hours.

Alternatively you can brine it: dissolve 140g of salt and 2 tbsp sugar in 1 litre of water. You can add ingredients such as peppercorns, bay leaves and herbs to the brine to enhance the flavour if you like. Heat until boiling then add another litre of water and leave it cool to room temperature. Add the rabbit and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Need inspiration?

Image for blog - How To: Cook Wild Rabbit

Try this recipe for roast rabbit, served with a white wine, chicken stock and honey gravy. It’s utterly delicious and a great dish to try for your Sunday roast.

See Recipe

About Jenny

Jenny White is a food writer who works for Wild and Game, the company on a mission to put game back on the British menu. The company sells a huge range of wild British game products, ranging from ready to cook meat to pies, pasties and ready meals.

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