April 23, 2021
The vast majority of time spent at my in-law's farm in southwestern Minnesota is spent farming or fixing farm equipment.
There just isn't time to pick up a shotgun or a rifle to hunt, because there is always work to do. However, this particular afternoon in January was bitterly cold and windy with a high temperature of 5 below zero.
No one was in a hurry to get any work done in these conditions. But after hours of playing pinocle and eating too many snacks, I yearned to venture outdoors.
I peered out a small opening of a frosted window and saw a cottontail rabbit hiding under one of the spruce trees. The solitary creature, with its cinnamon coat, sat motionless and wary of hungry predators.
It was unaware one of those predators was darting to the hall closet to grab the .22 rifle and load it as quickly as possible.
Bang Bang Chicken appears on many Chinese restaurant menus in the West. The name comes from the pounding of the chicken used in this recipe and sold by street vendors in Sichuan.
My version uses a cottontail rabbit that used to live under a spruce tree in Minnesota. It doesn't go to such lengths of pounding out the meat, but the distinctive flavors remain. And quite simply, it's got a perfect name for a wild-game recipe.
- 4 to 5 ounces boneless rabbit meat from the hind legs, cut in strips
- Half of a cucumber, sliced thin
- 2 baby carrots, sliced thin
- 2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Whisk together sauce in bowl and set aside.
- Place rabbit meat in bottom of pot and add 1 tablespoon salt and enough water to cover with 1 inch of water.
- Bring water with rabbit to boil, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and let meat sit in water for another 5 minutes. Remove meat from water and let cool.
- While rabbit is cooking, slice cucumber and carrot and arrange on plate.
- Right before serving, top cucumber and carrot with shredded rabbit and pour sauce on top.
- Optional garnish - green onions and peanuts.