Since raising rabbits is an important component of our organic farm plan for building the soil, rabbit is quite often on the menu at our house. This year we had a good harvest, 43 fryers, which we smoke, freeze or make in sausage. Rabbit meat is quite tasty, very similar to chicken. It does dry out with baking, so I prefer a moist-heat form of preparation.
The inspiration for the recipe Slow Cooker Salsa Rabbit comes from my daughter Emily, who now lives in New York. While describing the colorful salsa packed with red, orange and yellow peppers and green and red tomatoes Kent had just made, I was contemplating supper.
Salsa is a pantry item in many households, and I adapted this recipe from “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook” by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, that calls for boneless chicken. Because rabbit has more small bones and ligaments than chicken, it works well to cook the meat, pick it from the bones, and then finish cooking it in a sauce.
By tweaking the cooking temperature and time, I could use my rabbit, or the more economical cuts of bone-in chicken. You could even cut up a small chicken. This is an easy recipe to prepare in the morning, and then finish at night. While the meat if finishing in the slow cooker, heat the flour tortillas, chop the tomatoes, grate the cheese, shred the lettuce, and pop open a beer.
SLOW COOKER SALSA RABBIT or CHICKEN
- 1 rabbit fryer cut into 6 pieces
- About 3 pounds chicken pieces on the bone
- 1½ cups Emily's Taco Salsa 1 jar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch chili pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 cup Emily's Taco Salsa
- If desired, trim the skin and fat from the meat pieces. Grease the bowl of your slow cooker. Arrange the meat on the bottom, and cover with the salsa. Cover and cook on low until the meat is cooked through, about 7 - 8 hours. The internal temperature of the rabbit or chicken should register at least 155 degrees at the thickest point on a meat thermometer. Remove the rabbit from the slow cooker and allow to cool until it can be handled easily. Pull the meat from the bones. Return the meat pieces to the slow cooker and increase the heat to high. Add the cumin, chili pepper flakes and fresh lime juice, cover, and cook for another 15 minutes before serving.
- Makes six servings.