This year, try cooking the Easter Bunny for dinner

Spring is in the air. This invigorating time not only brings warmer weather, longer days and serenading birds, it also brings a long-eared, short-tailed creature that delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children. This can only mean one thing. Easter has arrived.

The Easter bunny has easily become the most recognized and prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. Religion aside, many cherished Easter traditions have long flourished in Canada and all over the world, such as painting eggs, egg hunts, parades, the consumption of copious amounts of pastel candy, chocolate shaped rabbits, Cadbury cream eggs, and of course, the much anticipated Easter dinner.

I’m all for tradition, but I also like to shake things up. In keeping with the holiday theme, I’d like to venture beyond a traditional dinner this year – by having the Easter bunny for dinner. Literally.

Rabbit has been popular throughout many European communities for centuries, it is very common in Spain, France and Italy, and the national dish of Malta, but in North America people are still a little squeamish and can’t help envisioning Peter Cottontail hopping off their plate, resulting in a lack of mass appeal. It’s seems there are only a handful of people who eagerly embrace rabbit: chefs, hunters, and food lovers (aka foodies).

In recent years, the rabbit’s popularity in the culinary scene across our country has been multiplying like…well, you get the point. It can be found in select grocery stores and most butcher shops. You’ll find either wild or farmed, and generally sold whole, skinned and gutted. You can ask your butcher to break it down into smaller pieces for you, but it’s easy enough to do at home (and fun!).

Rabbit is an incredibly versatile ingredient to work with and is often referred to as the other OTHER white meat. It’s leaner than chicken, veal or turkey with less fat and cholesterol.

Some say its flavour is comparable to chicken, some say veal. It’s denser and drier than chicken, and can easily be used as a substitute in many chicken dishes. Of course you should try it for yourself since its delicate flavour is so uniquely its own. Because a rabbit has practically no fat, the best methods of cooking are braising, grilling or frying.

To really wow your guests this Easter and show them what’s up…Doc (yep, went there) try out the tasty rabbit recipes below.

Braised Tuscan Rabbit with Olives, Capers and Pine Nuts

Braised Tuscan Rabbit

Fried Rabbit Masala

Fried Rabbit Masala

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