We don’t see rabbit much on restaurant menus in the US; it is more common in Europe. However Braised Rabbit is a personal favorite of mine and also popular with one of my best friends who was coming for dinner. Unlike widespread opinion, it doesn’t taste like chicken. It’s mild and clean tasting with a slight gaminess. The meat is very lean and needs to be treated carefully or it will be dry. I have found that it doesn’t have as much meat as a chicken and can be bony. One domestic rabbit will serve three people, four with small appetites.
Fresh rabbits are not in the main meat case at my local grocery store; you have to ask one of the butchers to fetch it from the freezer case in the back (behind the counter). Unfortunately they are frozen solid and whole. It was a bit intimidating encountering an entire bunny, which needed to be cut up BY ME after defrosting. I’m perfectly comfortable cutting up a chicken but a rabbit is entirely different. The first time was not pretty. My efforts on the second were better, helped by an instructional YouTube video. I’m continually amazed at how helpful the internet can be to cooks!
Rabbit Braised in White Wine and Sherry
- 1 rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour (I used gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 ½ cups of chicken stock
- ½ cup of white wine
- ½ cup of dry sherry
- Freshly chopped parsley for serving
- Stir together the flour and salt in a large plastic bag or bowl. Add the rabbit and toss to coat.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat. When hot, shake any extra flour off the rabbit and add it to the pot (you will need to do this in two batches, do not crowd the pieces).
- Brown, turning once, until golden on each side. Remove to a bowl and brown the second batch, transferring it to the same bowl.
- Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened but not brown, about 5 minutes. You may need to turn down the heat to medium.
- Add the Herbs de Provence, thyme, and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add stock, wine, sherry, rabbit, and any juices in the bowl with the rabbit.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, lower the heat to low, and cook (turning occasionally) until the meat is tender. This will take about an hour.
- Transfer the rabbit to a bowl.
- Simmer the sauce, uncovered, until it begins to thicken. 8-10 minutes.
- Return the rabbit to the sauce and simmer until heated.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parsley.
It was delicious.
I served it with polenta, a green vegetable and salad. Fresh fruit, candied ginger, chocolates for dessert. Plus plenty of good wine, of course.
Would you believe I’ve never had rabbit…?!
I think the problem was my mum’s generation kind of overdosed on it during the years of rationing associated with WWII, and once the lean times were over they never went back to it.
My mother didn’t make it often either. I think she still had sad memories of her French aunt cooking the family tame bunny while my grandmother was away.
Oh no! I can see how that would leave a lasting impression… 🙁
How delicious, the ingredients are spot on! Ive had rabbit stew before and really enjoyed it!
Yes, it just isn’t often on my radar.
What a beautiful dish Liz.
Thank you Julie!
Glad you told the world!