As much as we at Bugbear BBQ try to avoid the cliche of seasonal/ holiday recipes, we cannot hide our glee when it comes to this culinary treat: Barbecued Easter Bunny. Because, let’s be honest here, the Easter Bunny is pretty creepy. Not quite Tooth Fairy creepy, what with her slipping into your house while you sleep to purchase sloughed off pieces of you (and, you know, also being a fairy), but still pretty creepy. Seriously, what is the mythology behind a huge, bipedal rabbit that sneaks into your home to hide hard boiled or candy filled eggs?
Something about Jesus? Maybe?
Anyways, we at Bugbear BBQ take full advantage of the Easter season by thinning out the Easter Bunny numbers as best we can. Fortunately for us, and unlike its cousin, the elusive Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is actually thousands upon thousands of individual Easter Bunnies which split up neighborhoods for the purposes of egg hiding. So, unlike Santa, who criss-crosses the world on one special night to deliver all his toys, the Easter Bunny(ies) divide their impossible task. Which gives up multiple attempts to secure a carcass or two.
Also fortunate for us, and again unlike St. Nick, the Easter Bunnies are not quite sentient, instead operating off of a hive mind with each of the individual drones intelligent, but possessing no individual consciousness. This means they also don’t run afoul of our no-sentience policy here at Bugbear BBQ.
And, in case anyone was wondering, only one picture exists of the actual Easter Bunny Queen. To gaze upon it is to court madness, but you’ve got to be a little mad to have read along this far already, so gaze at your own risk.
The meat needs to be properly skinned, but how you actually cut up the corpse depends upon what condition you receive it in the first place. We prefer to lay traps for the Easter Bunnies in our neighborhood, snares that will ensure a (mostly) intact corpse to cut up. But Easter Bunny hunting is an individualistic sport with wide variation based upon regions; those in the Northeast are known for bashing bunny skulls with hockey sticks, while those in the South do so love their shotguns.
Not matter the condition of the corpse, you’ll want it skinned. Then make sure to wash it out and discard all the entrails. Easter Bunny droppings do look suspiciously like jellybeans, but are highly poisonous, so make sure to keep those entrails a good distance from your kid’s sugar supply.
Then we quarter the critter, cutting out the spine much as you would spatchcock a chicken. Then separate the fore and hindquarters.
And make sure to decapitate the creature, displaying the skull on your front lawn as a warning to others.
Despite being a creature of the spring, we prefer fall-ish flavors for our bunnies, with a rub consisting of 6 TBS granulated garlic, 3 TBS lemon pepper, 2 TBS granulated onion, and 1 TBS sage.
Baring that, just a quick rub of salt and brown sugar will do. Yeah, we know it sounds odd, but the sweetness really goes with it for some reason.
Get that smoker going to 325 and toss it on, with the hindquarters closer to the heat and the smaller forelegs further away. Then let it sit, turning once at 130, until it reaches 160 degrees internally. At that point, if you’re a heathen (and if you’re cooking this critter, chances are you are), then it’s time to apply a sauce and let it sit in the smoke for five minutes to thicken.
Sauce, Sides, & Pairings
If you’re going with a sauce during cooking, we’d suggest a KC/ Red sauce, or perhaps a Spirit (Thidras Keghorn is our personal favorite), but if you’re a purist then we suggest a nice brown au jus derived from the drippings.
For irony sake, you’re going to want a nice salad to sit alongside your BBQ Easter Bunny, preferably something with a lot of greens and at least one carrot. You know, rabbit food.
And in your drink pairing, there’s only one real option: Jellybean Schnapps.