Kentucky Fried Rabbit

with Polenta and Zucchini

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Even though I am not a loyal KFC customer, I know lots of people who are (Obviously not close friends of mine). When I stumbled upon an Italian food site claiming to have “acquired” the famous KFC recipe (tongue in cheek off course from the Italians) and disclosed it all on their page, I was interested. I am often asked how to cook rabbit as I have AMPLE supplies in my freezer, my standard answer always is that you can cook it in any way you cook chicken. Having made the connection between chicken and rabbit and having the secret recipe at hand, I was determined to try some KFR (Kentucky Fried Rabbit) or DFR (Dunedin Fried Rabbit) in my mission to eat every one of these NZ PESTS!!!

It was my turn to cook Saturday lunch and I thought I may as well try my new adventurous recipe on Mrs BYF. Weighing out the ingredients to the closest gram and carefully following the intricate steps of the recipe, I had some food on the plates about two hours later and to my BIG SURPRISE it was very good (Some of my regular KFC munchers even seriously commented it to be better than the famous KFC!!!) Watch out Colonel here comes New Zealand!!

Scleroderma bovista (Potato Earth Ball)

I am a keen mushroom hunter and would frequently collect what is available. Every so often a new type shows up and today I bumped into Potato Earth Balls, which I did not know, but they looked delicious and I brought them home. Luckily, before I could cook and taste, I identified them as Scleroderma bovista which are poisonous. I had a suspicion that they were probably not good when I cut them and the inside was a dark purple.

I shall live to try another some other day

Amalgamating Breeds of Coturnix coturnix

I have amalgamated all my quail breeds for very good reasons. As a result of the very small gene pool in NZ and no importations aloud, all quails in NZ are inbred and related. I am in NZ for 6 years now and made great progress breeding four different breeds of Coturnix, but progress has flattened off as I have to have limited numbers and equally good genetic material is not available in NZ. My solution was to amalgamate all the breeds and only breed a Back Yard Special, resulting in 4 times as many birds to select from and one less selection parameter – colour. This allowed me to make some progress again. I am retired and do this as a hobby – my working background is in animal genetics

QUAIL HOUSING

Housing for quails is fairly simple, but there are a few rules that would make there lives much more pleasant and productive

1. The housing must be 100 % dry AT ALL TIMES (100 % roof coverage with adequate overhang). Open on two sides with two solid walls protecting birds from prevailing wind and rain. The open sides need mesh of about 13 mm X 13 mm aperture as cats would put their claws through the holes if it is larger and kill the quail. As much sun as possible with shady spots if they want to get away from the sun. The cage roof must be a maximum of 500 mm high, otherwise the quails may injure themselves if frightened and take off hitting their heads on the roof

2. Quails need an area where they can hide from prevailing winds and drafts. Nooks and crannies and / or thick vegetation is required

3. Coturnix Quails are ground dwellers and would not roost and would very seldom use a second level upstairs – so all their food and water requirements need to be at ground level. They can be taught to go up, but it is not natural for them

4. Coturnix quail need a sand bath to keep them healthy, happy and clean – so if their cage is on the ground and DRY, it is all good as they would create their own sandpit

5. Clean water and feed of the correct type all the time (ad lib). They would eat greens and table scraps (love meat) and it can be fed to them all the time as long as it does not make up too much of the diet (maximum about 20%)

6. A floor area of at least 2 meter square per group of 4 – 5 females and 1 male for the ideal cage (meeting all the above specifications) or more if the cage is deficient

7. If you want the quails to lay eggs all year round, you need to provide light for 16 hours per day, alternatively they will molt when the days are getting shorter and stop laying until the next season.

BILTONG

Biltong

Cut the meat (Silverside, Topside or Rump) into strips of about 25 mm thick. Remove excess fat, but not all. Also clean meat up by removing connective tissue, lumps, glands and non solid pieces of meat.

Mix enough 25 : 75 :: Worcestershire Sauce : Brown Vinegar to quickly dip and rinse the meat in and then put in a flat container, layer by layer. Sprinkle Biltong Spice Mix to start with in the container, then follow with a layer of meat. Repeat until all the spice and meat has been used. Put in fridge for 12 hours, turn and put back in fridge for 12 hours.

Meat can be hanged as is, or washed with a 10% brown vinegar water solution (boiled and cooled) and then hanged. Make sure the hanging area is about 12 C and well ventilated.

Biltong Spice Mix

For every 1kg of meat mix the following spices:

  • 18 g coarse Salt
  • 2 g coarse cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 g brown Sugar
  • 4 g coarse roasted and screened Coriander
  • 1 g Sodium Bi Carbonate

Mix all spices well together