I cut all the meat that I plan to tenderize from the bones (usually just the hind quarters down to the bottom of the thigh and the back straps), then I pound it out flat on a cutting board with a meat tenderizing mallet. I then take a good sharp fillet knife and cut off all that silvery connective tissue from the outside of the meat until I'm left with clean meat fillets. Usually only have to do that for the back straps; the legs come out pretty tender from just the mallet. They WILL stay chewy if you don't remove that tissue. It curls up almost like bacon when you cook it too, so the more of it you can remove the better. The front legs, the hind shanks, and the rib cages / leftover meat on the body all go into the big stock pot and boil with celery / root veggies for about four hours. My dad likes it fried but I prefer it in pot pie so I threw the front legs and a few of the hind quarters in the crock pot this time to make pot pie meat. I do squirrels the same way, but its more difficult to get them tender because they are so small. When you start trimming the meat on a squirrel you take a good bit of the squirrel with it.
Edit: My grandfather used to parboil rabbits and squirrels with a bullion cube and baking soda, three or four times through the pot. I never found that method to make them extremely tender though, so I prefer to debone / tenderize them instead. Plus I really hate getting pellets and bone shards in my meat, and the extra work I put in to remove the meat from the bones allows me to control that as well.
A bad day hunting rabbits beats a good day of anything else!
Last edited by psychobeagle12; 01-27-2019 at 12:04 PM.