Rabbit meat actually tastes like chicken
Rabbit that looks and tastes like chicken?
OK, I know it's a total stereotype to say that this and that kind of meat tastes like chicken, but take it with me.
I'm not a frequent rabbit eater, but I'd say I have it 1-2 times a year so I feel like I have a rough idea of its taste and appearance. All the rabbit I ever ate before last night I would describe as dark, somewhat tough, and slightly wild.
Last night I went to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner and ordered a dish that was "rabbit in five ways". The dish consisted of half a rabbit in total, which was made in the following way: leg confit, sous vide porchetta saddle, cabbage rolls stuffed with rabbit, liver mousse and head cheese. The cabbage rolls and head cheese had meat that I would say was very rabbit-like: dark, a little wild, and a little chewy.
Now I know there is the (IMO, philosophical) opinion that all rabbit meat is white meat because of its leanness. However, the leg confit and sous vide saddle were unusual for me in that they looked, smelled, and tasted like chicken. To be clear, I mean the meat was very white, almost the color of a sheet of paper, like a chicken breast on the whiter end of the spectrum. And as I said, it also tasted surprisingly like chicken.
Anyway, I wonder if this restaurant is trying to pass poultry as rabbits? That seems unlikely as it is a medium sized, non-chain, medium high place with a good reputation. The small amount of money you save doesn't seem worth the risk of a restaurant reviewer realizing what you're up to and ruining you in a review.
However, if it was really rabbit, then I am curious under what conditions would rabbit come out indistinguishable from chicken? Are certain breeds and / or cuts more like white poultry? Or is it a combination of the cutting and cooking method that would lead to this result?
It wouldn't be the first time a high-end restaurant dumped more expensive ingredients than cheaper ingredients, but it's pretty unlikely. What is the most likely reason is that you bred rabbits as opposed to wild rabbits, which have vastly different flavors and textures based on their diet and lifestyle.
Wild rabbits eat a lot of grass and flowers that give their meat this playfulness, and they are given a lot of exercise to make their texture harder and darker in color. Breeding rabbits are given a mostly grainy diet which is bland and makes the meat boring, and they don't get a lot of exercise so they are more tender.
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