In the modern day diet, Rabbit is often overlooked as a meat source, and certainly you’d be hard pushed to find it in your everyday supermarket. Yet Rabbit meat is high in protein, low in fat and low in cholesterol – and even better it tastes fabulous too! (Please note that there are images of a dead rabbit in this article).
Skinning a rabbit yourself is a great way to obtain Rabbit meat very cost effectively and if you don’t shoot yourself then it is possible, more often than not, to get hold of paunched rabbit (gutted, but still in its fur jacket) from game dealers and farm shops, at a very reasonable price of approximately £1 a rabbit.
In this blog, I am going to demonstrate how to skin a Rabbit ready to then either roast whole, or to cut into portions depending on your chosen recipe. The article assumes the Rabbit has already been gutted when it was killed, but had the innards left intact.
So to start with, lay the rabbit on its side.
From the opening where the animal has been gutted start to separate/peel the skin from the meat and work your hand round to the other side until you have separated the meat from the skin right round (You may find the last couple of inches are easier to separate if you repeat the process from the other side)
Put your hand under the skin and grip the rabbit. It should be quite easy now using the other hand to peel off the rest of the skin up to the neck and down to its legs. You will find that it is still attached at the head, legs and tail. The back legs can be removed with a pair of scissors, a sharp knife or an axe. Do be careful though, and try to cut through the joints rather than breaking through the bones, as the bone shards will be very sharp. Cut above the foot, through the joint to remove the foot, and then pull the leg back into the fur and the skin down to the inside to remove the fur. Repeat this on the other leg so that both legs are free from the fur. This process should then be used on the front legs too.
To remove the tail cut a in on either side of the tail to form a V and pull the tail off, remove any remaining large intestines and faeces that were still there by pushing these out from the inside. In order to remove the head cut around the neck with a knife, and remove it in a twisting and pulling motion. You will now be left with a full skin with the head attached to this, and a fully intact rabbit carcass.
To remove the remaining innards, simply scoop these out with your hand. You may wish to save the kidneys and liver for the pot too. If you then look higher up into the chest you will see the diaphragm. Tear this open to access the heart and lungs and remove them. Again the heart can be saved for the pot.
At this point give the rabbit a good wash to remove any blood and fluff that is sticking to it, and finally dry it off using a paper towel or cloth.
The rabbit is then ready for preparing as your recipes require.