When you think of the world’s most well-known rabbit dishes – hasenpfeffer, rabbit confit or the many delectable variations of braised rabbit – you quickly realize rabbit has been a favorite primary ingredient for chefs around the world for a very long time. From classic Southern American and the current farm-to-table trend to traditional French and Creole, this lean, tender protein is versatile enough to fit with every style, taste and flavor, and the possibilities are seemingly endless.
However, if a recent event held by the American Culinary Federation is an indication, there are still plenty of culinary creations with rabbit yet to be discovered. In April, Arkansas-based rabbit producer, Pel-Freez, collaborated with accomplished culinary educator Chef Ted Kowalski at a tasting in St. Augustine, Florida, held by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). In addition to being a Certified Executive Chef and a member of the American Academy of Chefs, Chef Kowalski is the chapter president of St. Augustine’s ACF.
His creations are nothing short of amazing, featuring new takes on traditional favorites and adding his own spin to develop dishes that are both unique and familiar. He was also impressed with Pel-Freez products, particularly compared to the practices he was used to earlier in his career.
“Pel-Freez rabbits are super clean, chef ready and a far cry from my days at Le Pavillon when we had live rabbits in cages outside the kitchen door,” said Chef Kowalski.
Among the dishes developed were delicious takes on rabbit fricassee and rabbit terrine. And while these recipes may be above the skill level of many of us (the exception being if Chef Kowalski, himself, is reading this), the photos of these meals should truly inspire the foodie in all of us. Whether they inspire you to get cooking or get eating is entirely up to you. Either way, thanks to Chef Ted Kowalski for creating dishes to develop sophisticated palates and encouraging fine dining with this clean, lean and often underutilized (at least for now) protein.