Tender rabbit, slow cooked with wine, bacon and herbs.
One of the questions that I get asked quite a bit, is:
“What does rabbit taste like?”
Well, here is the honest to goodness truth. It tastes like chicken. Now I know, I know, people often say that something tastes like chicken when really it doesn’t. But in this case, it is the truth.
We have had rabbit many different ways in our home, but with only one exception, it tasted like chicken every single time. If you deboned the meat prior to cooking, no one would be the wiser. The one exception – and this is simply my opinion – was when we barbecued it on the grill. To me, grilled rabbit has a gamey taste, and was clearly not chicken. That said, Mr. Smith loved it all the same.
Whether you are planning to go rabbit hunting or if you are raising meat rabbits on your farm, this is an excellent recipe to prepare rabbit with. If you have friends or family who would like to try rabbit and are hesitant …make this recipe. You will win them over. I’m telling you.
This rabbit is dredged in flour and browned in the Dutch oven. Then you briefly saute some onion, garlic and bacon – can any recipe be bad that has those three? I mean really.
Finally, this is slow cooked in your oven in a rich, red wine sauce.
- 1 c prunes
- 2 Tb brandy
- ¼ c brown sugar
- 2 prepared rabbits, cut into serving pieces
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ c all-purpose flour, for dredging
- 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 c red wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (2 tsp dry)
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (2 tsp dry)
- 1 bay leaf
- To begin, heat your oven to 325 degrees.
- In a shallow dish, combine the brandy, prunes and brown sugar. Stir them together and set them aside for now.
- Pat the rabbit pieces dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the rabbit with the salt and pepper.
- Dredge the rabbit in the flour to lightly coat it.
- Heat the oil in an oven safe Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Brown the rabbit pieces in the oil until golden on both sides. Work in batches so that you do not over crowd the pot. As each piece is browned, place it on a plate and brown the rest. Place all of the pieces on the plate when browned.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, bacon and garlic to the pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the bacon and onion begin to develop a little golden brown color.
- Pour in the wine and use your wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Nestle the rabbit pieces down into the contents of the pot.
- Pour in the chicken broth.
- Add in the herbs.
- Pour the dish of brandied prunes and all of the liquid over the top of the contents of the pot.
- Bring this all to a gentle boil.
- When it begins to boil, turn off the heat, cover and place it in the oven.
- Bake for 2 hours or until the rabbit is tender.
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