If you are using wild cottontails, I highly recommend you brine your rabbits before frying. A simple brine of 1/4 cup kosher salt to 4 cups water will do -- the rabbit is going to get plenty of seasoning later. Submerge your bunny in this brine about 8 hours. This process keeps them moist. Domesticated rabbits don't really need this, but if you want to brine them, do so for no more than 4 hours.
2tablespoonsItalian seasoning,or mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme and 1 tablespoon dried parsley
2teaspoonscayenne,or to taste
Mix the buttermilk with the all the spices except the salt and flour. Coat the rabbit with the mixture and set in a covered container overnight, or at least 4 hours.
When you are ready to fry, pour the oil into a large pan -- a big cast iron frying pan is ideal -- to a depth of about an inch. The general idea is you want the oil to come halfway up the side of the rabbit. Set the heat to medium-high.
Meanwhile, take the rabbit out of the buttermilk and let it drain in a colander. Don't shake off the buttermilk or anything, just leave it there.
Let the oil heat until it is about 325°F; this is the point where a sprinkle of flour will immediately sizzle. When the oil is hot, pour the flour and salt into a plastic bag and shake to combine. Put a few pieces of rabbit into the bag and shake to get it coated in flour.
Set the coated rabbit pieces in one layer in the hot oil so they don't touch. Fry for about 8 to 12 minutes. Fry gently -- you want a steady sizzle. Turn the rabbit pieces and fry for another 10 minutes or so, until they are golden brown. The forelegs will come out first, followed by the loin, and the hind legs will come out last. You will probably need to fry in batches, so just leave the uncooked rabbit pieces in the colander until you are ready to flour them up and fry them. Don't let floured pieces sit.
When the rabbit is gready, rest them on a rack set over a paper towel to drain away any excess oil. If you are cooking in batches, set this in a warm oven.