Rabbit meat is generally considered healthier than other types of protein because it has a high digestible protein content. But what about the internal organs of a rabbit? Can you eat rabbit kidneys?
You can eat rabbit kidneys, and they are safe to eat as long as the organs look normal. The kidneys of a rabbit have a mild flavor and good texture, and you can saute, braise, pan-fry, pate, or grill them. Complimentary flavors for a rabbit kidney dish are garlic, rosemary, mustard, and red wine.
Rabbit has been called the peasant dish that is fit for a king, and this is true. Meat lovers who aren’t fans of animal kidneys rave about the flavor of rabbit kidneys.
Ready to learn more about eating the kidneys of a rabbit so you can add this delicacy to your weekly menu? Let’s get started.
Are Rabbit Kidneys Safe to Eat?
You can eat a rabbit’s pluck, aka the animal’s internal organs. As such, you can eat a rabbit’s kidneys and they are generally safe to consume.
When cooking rabbit kidneys or after you’ve slaughtered a rabbit, examine the giblets and see if there are any abnormalities. If you see any white or yellow lesions or nodules on the liver or kidneys, it’s a sign that the rabbit may have coccidiosis. It can also be a symptom of a fungal infection caused by Encephalitozoon cuniculi (encephalitozoonosis).
It’s best to discard the rabbit if the internal organs look abnormal.
If the organs look normal and you know that the rabbit meat is sourced from a reputable butcher or rabbit-raising farm, then you can safely enjoy rabbit kidneys.
What Do Rabbit Kidneys Taste Like?
Rabbit kidneys are delicious. The kidneys of bunny have a flavorful, yet mild taste, and they are well-textured with a layer of white fat around them.
They don’t have the ureic aroma and smell that kidneys from pork, beef, and lamb have, and what little ureic taste and smell are left can easily be hidden by adding some garlic to your recipe.
What Can You Do With Rabbit Kidneys?
There are various ways in which you can eat rabbit kidneys:
- Make a terrine
- Lightly fry the kidneys and serve in a warm salad
- Serve with a pasta or polenta dish
- Sauteed with mushrooms in butter, and served with a delicious garden salad of your choice; it adds a fresh and zesty element
- Sauteed with shallots, wine, port, or brandy, some cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper
- Make a pate
- Braise the kidneys
- Pan-fry the rabbit kidneys
- Grill the kidneys
- Use in a stuffing for sausage
Good flavors to pair rabbit kidney with are:
- Tangy mustard dressing
- Red wine
- Cider and cream-based sauces
- Savory dark chocolate sauce
Popular recipes that include rabbit kidneys or where these giblets are the main feature are:
- Rabbit stew with red wine
- Hearty rabbit stew with vegetables
- Rabbit terrine
- Rabbit livers with kidneys and onion and a mustard sauce
- Rabbit Aguadito
- Rabbit kidney skewers
- Coconut rabbit curry
- Rabbit broth
- Rabbit kidney and liver pate
- Rabbit with Greve lard
- Italian-style braised rabbit with rosemary and mushrooms
- Rabbit pot pie
Benefits of Eating Rabbit Kidneys
There are various health benefits of eating rabbit kidneys, but let’s briefly look at the nutritional value of this ingredient:
One kilogram or 2.2 pounds of rabbit kidneys contain:
- 29% moisture
- 3% protein
- 62% fat
- 1% ash
- 0.1% phosphorus
For a serving size of 3.5 ounces, there are 567 calories in rabbit kidneys.
Rabbit kidneys, also called offal when together with the other internal organs, are considered a superfood.
This superfood is rich in vitamins B3, B6, and B12, selenium, and phosphorus. It also contains copper, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Kidneys are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
As an energy source, omega-3 fatty acids help with the optimal function of your heart, blood vessels, lungs, and immune system.
Selenium, found in rabbit kidneys, helps your immune system and thyroid gland function normally. This mineral is also beneficial because it has antioxidant, anti-cancer, joint health, and immune resistance properties.
Vitamin B3 also called niacin, helps your nervous system function optimally, and the vitamin is great for your digestive system.
Phosphorus helps maintain your skeletal system, while vitamin B6, called pyridoxine, helps your nervous system and immune system. The vitamin also helps with the maintenance of your red blood cell metabolism.
Vitamin B12 helps your bone marrow to produce enough red blood cells, and it is good for your brain and intestinal health.
All in all, you improve your heart health by eating rabbit kidneys.
But eat rabbit kidneys in moderation. They are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which is part of a balanced diet. And if you have gout, it’s best to stay away from all kinds of organ meat.
What Other Organs of a Rabbit Are Edible?
Nearly all of a rabbit’s internal organs are edible.
While you can use rabbit liver on its own in many recipes, it is typically cooked and served with rabbit kidneys.
The liver of a rabbit is quite big, about three to four times the size of a chicken liver. However, the liver is thin.
Rabbit liver tastes gamier than the liver of poultry but it is a mild-enough flavor to not be off-putting.
If you are preparing the liver before cooking it, ensure you remove the gallbladder without rupturing it.
Like all other hearts, a rabbit heart is also purely muscle, so it is generally chewier (especially when compared to the liver and kidneys of a rabbit).
Prevent a rabbit’s heart from being too chewy to eat by not overcooking it.
A rabbit’s heart is also smaller than the heart of poultry animals.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
Eating rabbit meat comes with a lot of benefits, and organ meat is no different.
Hailed a superfood, you get a variety of minerals and vitamins like vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, D, E, and K, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous, and magnesium when you include rabbit kidneys as part of your balanced diet.
Always make sure you source your rabbit meat from reputable suppliers and check the kidneys for any abnormalities before you cook and enjoy them.