Saffron & Turmeric Rabbit Kebabs

grilled rabbit recipe.jpg

Rabbit has a special place in our kitchen. We’re spoiled with enough wild game to feed ourselves with it exclusively, but white meat is in short supply. We’re just now getting good at turkey hunting, and we don’t have the upland hunting that other states have. Sure, there’s squirrel hunting, but that’s more an exercise in humility than an opportunity to stock the freezer. Which is what makes rabbit such a treat. One decent-sized bunny is enough to feed the two of us, and a good hunt leaves us with enough in the freezer to scratch the occasional “white meat” itch. We like to savor all our meals, but rabbit for dinner is really an occasion in this house. 

Which is why we dressed this dish up a little. The saffron might seem a little opulent but it really shines with the mild, lean sweetness of rabbit. We added a little lemon to brighten it up and some extra virgin olive oil for body. The fire does the rest. You can serve this with whatever you want, really, but the cucumber salad and roasted tomatoes complement this light end-of-summer meal perfectly.


Saffron & Turmeric Rabbit Kebabs

Serves: 2-4

Cook time: 3 hours total, 30 minutes active

Here, we call for backstrap and loin from 2-3 rabbits, but use as many or as few rabbits as you care to prepare. Just be sure to scale up the marinade recipe accordingly.



Rabbit backstraps and inner loins, cut into 2-3” pieces (marinade recipe yields enough to do 2-3 rabbits worth of loins) 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch saffron

Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)

1 tsp turmeric, ground



Combine the oil and saffron and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour to “bloom”. Add the lemon juice and turmeric, then use to marinate the rabbit meat for 1-2 hours. Remove the meat from marinade, skewer, and grill over high heat for 2-4 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 160F.


Cucumber salad:

Chopped cucumber

Red onion or shallot, shaved

Sumac berry, ground

Extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and season with salt. Use your best judgement as far as quantity is concerned and taste as you go. 

Roasted tomatoes & shallots

Tomatoes, quartered

Small shallots, peeled, split

Extra virgin olive oil 

Toss tomatoes and shallots with olive oil, season liberally with salt, and roast at 375F for 30-40 minutes until tender.