Flashback 17 years ago. "Mom, this doesn't look like chicken" I said. "It is. Just try it" my mom replied. I put a forkful of the BBQ'd mystery meat in my mouth and cautiously chewed. My sister and I looked at each other and knew that we were eating rabbit. The very same rabbit my parents were raising in cages on the top floor of our shed.
I have had rabbit only once since then. A few months ago my husband and I were eating at an Italian restaurant and I was feeling bold and ordered a rabbit and grappa stew over tagliatelle. The rabbit meat was shredded and was pretty tasty but I couldn't get the image of eating an actual rabbit out of my head.
Yesterday my loving husband took on the task of cooking up the rabbit I killed on Thursday. We found a recipe for red-wine braised rabbit with sage polenta on Epicurious's website. He cut the rabbit into six pieces and lightly dusted the pieces in flour. Instead of braising indoors for an hour and adding more heat to air-conditioning free house, Darien cooked everything outdoors on a propane stove. I sat watching him under an umbrella drinking a margarita while rehashing the whole rabbit processing on my blog.
Darien presented me with a leg on a bed of polenta surrounded with the sauce it was braised in. It looked great, now for the taste test. It tasted like chicken but tougher. It was good but I still wasn't able to fully enjoy the experience as much as I would have liked. Mean while, Darien was enjoying his leg with gusto. Something about eating rabbit still nags at my conscious. Guilt? No. Taste? Could have been braised a tad longer, but the flavor was nice. Psychological? Absolutely. For some unexplained reason I just haven't fully accepted that it is OK to eat rabbit. Part of me acknowledges how ridiculous this sounds because its just protein. The only thing I can do is keep trying. Maybe one day I can see past what it was, and enjoy what it is.