Grilled Rabbit with Chimichurri Sauce
December 22, 2016
Chimichurri sauce is one of my favorite sauces, and it also works great as a marinade. It is herby, spicy and fresh, and mild enough that it pairs well with just about any type of meat, from red meat to chicken or even delicate fish. Chimichurri is also one of my go-to sauces for wild game. It's delicious with venison, but this vinegar-based-sauce also benefits game such as rabbit or squirrels.
Wild rabbit meat may be perceived as "tough," but the secret to preparing tender rabbit is in how you clean it. It's very important to remove as much silver skin as possible from the muscle groups. Unless you're going to slow cook the rabbit, which breaks down this tough connective tissue, quick cooking methods such as grilling or searing will only make it contract and chewy. By removing the silver skin and marinating the rabbit in the chimichurri sauce, your rabbit will be so moist and tender.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 1½ pounds of wild cottontail rabbit
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup of cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- ¼ cup of onion, chopped finely
- 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- Red pepper (any variety), finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, plus extra
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Rinse rabbit under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut rabbit into serving-size pieces: 2 forelegs, 2 hind legs, and depending on size of the body, you can get 2-3 pieces.
- With a sharp filet knife, remove as much silver skin as much as you can from the pieces of rabbit without sacrificing too much meat. You'll find that the areas along the outside loins have several layers of silver skin on it. The silver skin on the legs are the most tedious to remove, but you'll end up with a more tender end product if you take the time. Don't worry about removing every single bit of the silver skin, but remove as much as you can to "free" the different muscle groups. This will allow the chimichurri sauce to penetrate more quickly into the meat. Silver skin also contracts when heat is applied, and it gets tough and chewy on the grill.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over rabbit pieces and place into a bowl or Ziploc bag. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, red pepper (optional) and kosher salt to make the chimichurri sauce. The red pepper is for color mostly — use a mild pepper or a spicy bird's eye chili pepper for extra kick.
- Pour chimichurri sauce over the rabbit, reserving about ¼- ½ cup for serving later. Give it a stir to coat all the rabbit pieces. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Thirty minutes prior to cooking, take meat out of the refrigerator so it can come to room temperature. Prepare grill for direct heat cooking. Grill rabbit pieces until cooked through, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Cook rabbit with the lid closed.
- Serve the grilled rabbit with reserved chimichurri sauce.