Citrus Habanero Rabbit (or Chicken!) Recipe

Citrus Habanero Rabbit (or Chicken!) Recipe

I’m super proud of my husband for inventing this Citrus Habanero Rabbit recipe. If you’re looking for a way to use up some habaneros, or if you love how citrus, garlic, and spicy tastes together, then you will LOVE this recipe. Feel free to use chicken instead of rabbit meat!

Here’s the background for this tasty Citrus Habanero Rabbit recipe: We were looking at a basket loaded to the brim with habaneros. And a freezer full of rabbit meat (and we need more space in the freezer for future rabbit harvests).

I’m not the creative type in the kitchen. I love mixing various recipes into one dish, but I struggle when it comes to staring at food items and thinking of something to do with it all.

So I shrugged helplessly and let my hubby take over in the kitchen. He’s the pro with the rabbit meat already, plus, he LOVES being creative in the kitchen. 

So this recipe for Citrus Habanero Rabbit is from my hubby. Before you freak out about the habanero part and think it’s going to be super spicy, just know this: when my hubby handed me my plate of this Citrus Habanero Rabbit, he asked me to guess what was in it. I picked up the citrusy flavor and the garlic, and a slight hint of spiciness.

Then he told me there was three habaneros in it! I did not believe him. It’s no secret that I love spicy food (just check out my chili recipe and my salsa recipe for proof!), but this meal was only mildly and pleasantly spicy.

I hope you enjoy this delicious and delightful balance between citrus, spice and garlic in this Citrus Habanero Rabbit (or Chicken!) recipe as much as we do!

Citrus Habanero Rabbit (or Chicken!) Recipe

Citrus Habanero Rabbit (or Chicken!) Recipe


  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 habaneros, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/3 cup Lime Juice
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 rabbit, cut into pieces, or 3-4 chicken thighs with bones in


  1. Grab your deepest and largest good-quality mixing bowl (see note #1!!!). Add 8 cloves of minced garlic, 3 minced habaneros, 2 tbsp. turmeric, 1 tbsp. cumin, and 1 tbsp. paprika. Mix well.
  2. In a large cast iron pan (like this), heat 1 cup of olive oil until it’s almost smoking. 
  3. Carefully(!!!!) pour the hot olive oil into the mixing bowl with the spices, garlic, and habaneros (you’re basically slightly sauteeing the garlic and habaneros). 
  4. Add 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice and 1/3 cup lime juice to the mixing bowl. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place your rabbit (or chicken) meat pieces into the cast iron pan. Spoon some of the liquid on both sides of the meat (you could also get another mixing bowl out, place the meat into the bowl and pour some of the liquid onto the meat).
  6. Pan-fry the rabbit (or chicken) pieces in the cast iron pan on medium-high. Occasionally, spoon some of the citrus habanero liquid onto the meat (almost like how you would baste a turkey or chicken. The key is to keep the meat juicy without it just boiling in marinade/liquid).
  7. Cook until the meat is cooked through. Put on a plate to serve, and add another spoonful of the sauce on top. This is great served with rice or quinoa.


#1: Since you’re going to add hot oil to a bowl, please use a deep and good quality bowl! Ceramic works great. We used a large 4 cup mortar and pestle, so that works too, so long as your mortar is large enough. I just don’t want you to burn yourself!

#2: Feel free to try this recipe with orange juice instead of grapefruit juice (and then please let me know how that tastes in the comments!). I love grapefruit juice, and that’s what was in our fridge at the time. It’s really good, I promise!

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