Wild rabbits have firm, meaty flesh and a subtle, gamey flavour. They can be likened to a particularly flavoursome free-range chicken. Farmed rabbits lack this depth of flavour and can be fatty and bland compared to the wild rabbit.
Wild rabbits will have firm, pinkish-brown coloured flesh and are generally smaller than farmed rabbits, which are flabbier with paler grey flesh. They are generally sold whole but skinned and gutted; you can ask your butcher to joint them for you. Wild and farmed rabbits are available year round, although wild rabbits are best from August to February.
Young rabbits can be roasted whole. With older rabbits the legs have a tendency to be tough and are best suited to slow cooking in a stew or casserole, although you can quick-roast the saddle and cook the legs separately. A wild rabbit (about 1.5kg/3lbs 5oz) will serve 3-4 people.
Article by Louisa Carter