It's easy to learn how to butcher a rabbit compared to butchering larger game. If you've never had rabbit before, it's tasty. Like a lot of other white meat, it tastes a little like chicken but it has a dryer texture. A classic way to prepare rabbit is to lightly bread and fry the rabbit, again like chicken. Serve it with milk gravy and homemade biscuits.
To butcher a rabbit, you will need:
- A freshly slaughtered rabbit
- Newspaper or garbage bags
- A bucket
- Sturdy place to hang the rabbit
- A nail or hook
- Four feet of rope
- A sharp knife
- Flat work surface
- Prepare work area for easy clean up. Spread newspaper or garbage bags below the area where you will butcher the rabbit. Place a bucket on top of the prepared work surface.
- Hang the rabbit. Secure a nail or hook in a sturdy place. Make slip knots at both ends of the rope. Tie each bottom foot of the rabbit and hang from the nail or hook.
- Make the first cut. Cut around the circumference of each hind leg right above the meaty part of the rabbit. Cut only through the skin; do not cut all the way to the bone. Try to not cut through the tendons.
- Peel down the skin. Begin peeling the skin down the hind legs of the rabbit. You may need to use the knife as a scraper to get it started, but usually you can pinch the skin and pull down gently but firmly. Continue pulling down until the fur is clear of the hind legs.
- Remove the fur from the tail. Cut off the cotton tail and around the split between the hind legs. Cut through the anus and the genitals.
- Remove the skin completely. Pull downwards to remove the rest of the skin. It should now easily pull all the way down to the head and front paws. Cut the head and front legs off of the rabbit. If not curing the skin for fur, discard in the bucket.
- Remove the internal organs. Cut from between the hind legs downward across the stomach to the throat area. Use your hands and knife to remove all internal organs. You may want to retain the heart, liver, and kidneys. Discard the remainder in the bucket. Be careful to not break the little green gallbladder attached to the liver.
- Cut off the hind feet. Take the rabbit down and untie the hind feet. Place the rabbit on a flat work surface and cut off the rear feet.
- Soak the rabbit. Place the rabbit in a clean sink. Rinse off blood and fur. Fill the sink with icy water and a half cup of salt. Soak for 2 hours to remove any remaining blood. This will help prevent a gamey flavor.
- Cut the rabbit into pieces. Remove the rabbit from the sink and dry. Cut off the hind legs and front legs at the joints. Cut the breast of the rabbit in half along the backbone. Retain the rest of the back in one piece.
Congratulations! You have butchered a rabbit.