Timber 2 Table - Coca-Cola Brined Fried Rabbit

Based on chef John Currence's Coca-Cola Fried Chicken from his City Grocery restaurant group in Oxford, Mississippi, this fried rabbit is the perfect blend of flavors

Coca-Cola Brined Fried Rabbit

360 Min

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time





Should you find yourself in Oxford, Mississippi, and you enjoy a great food city the way I do, then you will probably find yourself in one of chef John Currence's restaurants. I'm a huge fan of fried chicken, and the chicken at his City Grocery is one of my favorites. Chef Currence marinates the chicken in a blend of Coca-Cola and hot sauce, then gives it a batter dip before deep-frying. The result is a slightly sweet, spicy, super crunchy bird that you can't help but love.

The batter gives the rabbit a crunchy exterior while keeping the meat juicy and tender.

I based this recipe for fried rabbit directly on his City Grocery recipe, and it's become one of my favorite ways to eat rabbit. For the marinade, I hit the local Mexican grocery for Mexican-style Coca-Cola, made with cane sugar instead of the more common corn syrup we find here in the States. I think it makes a difference, but the recipe is still outstanding with any normal non-diet cola.

Use any non-diet cola and your favorite brand of hot sauce.


Rabbit and Brine

2 to 3 rabbits, quartered into leg and back sections

5 cups Coke, the Mexican version made with real sugar, if possible

10 sprigs fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce

1 tablespoon salt

Spice Rub

3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried sage

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary


2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

3 1/4 cups water

3/4 cup peanut oil


8 cups peanut oil

2 cups lard

Cooking Instructions

Start by mixing the brine ingredients. Add the rabbit and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Hot sauce and cola combine to make a flavorful marinade.

Blend the ingredients for the spice rub.

Mix the seasoning ingredients.

Heat 8 cups of peanut oil and 2 cups of lard in a large Dutch oven or heavy cast-iron chicken fryer pan.

Drain the marinade from the rabbit and pat the sections dry with paper towels.

Rub the spice mixture onto the rabbit, using your fingers to work it into the surface of the meat.

Blend the batter ingredients in a large bowl. Once your oil reaches 350 degrees, dip the rabbit, one piece at a time, into the batter mixture. Lift the rabbit from the batter and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. If doing 3 rabbits, you might need to double the batter recipe.

Dip the brined and seasoned rabbit into the batter mixture.

Gently drop the dipped rabbit pieces one at a time into the hot oil. Fry in batches to prevent overcrowding the pan. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, then use tongs to turn each piece of rabbit to prevent it from overbrowning on one side. Continue frying for another 4 to 6 minutes. Front legs might take a little less time than back and hind leg sections.

Deep-fry the rabbit to a golden crunchy brown.