What? Really? C’mon, you can’t be serious….
Is that what you all are thinking?
Stop it now and listen:
Rabbits are the worst garden pests. Like rats, squirrels and gophers but with prettier fur. Or in my vernacular, more useful fur. Rabbits are overrated for cuteness and underrated for protein and health benefits. We all eat far too much chicken. It is not healthful for humans to eat like koalas…the same thing day in and day out. That contributes to our allergies. We need an omnivorous varied diet and rabbit is far superior to chicken. If you don’t believe me, just try some and see how you sleep that night and how you feel the next day. It was a revelation to me. I do cut it off the bone before serving for newbies who react negatively to the look of the animal. However I cook it on the bone as that is far superior for health and depth of flavor. Be open to rabbit. And if you are a chicken eater, don’t be a hypocrite and refuse rabbit. One more carp: rabbits turned over my banana tree and I nearly lost our largest and most beautiful hand of plantains – see the pictures. They miraculously survived and we are enjoying them now. We just had plantains with the mole that Cousin Marisa brought to us from the Central Market in Los Angeles…and before that we served them at M and J’s engagement brunch…what a happy day and a great memory following on the heels of H and A’s wedding.
Back to Rabbit. I made this in December, 2013 before the wedding on movie night…Nadia and Dan brought ‘screeners’ over. She is from Paris. He is from Canada. They were in heaven with the stew. One pot, one bowl, a hunk of Nadia’s incomparable French Bread and ooh la la…Dave was a really good sport…thanks again honey…
Rabbit Stew ~
- One rabbit, frozen or thawed, whole or cut up.*
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- ½ cabbage sliced thin
- 1 whole red pepper, julienne
- ¼ c chopped parsley
- 1 c small white beans
- 32 oz chicken broth – homemade or purchased
- Fresh thyme***
- Green beans
Salt and pepper the rabbit. Cut up the onion, fennel, cabbage, parsley and place in bottom of enamel roaster. Sliced thin, like spaghetti. Put the seasoned rabbit on top. Sprinkle the beans around the rabbit. Add chicken broth and thyme. Bake at 350° for an hour if thawed and one hour and 30 minutes to two hours if it is not thawed. Remember, if you are a busy person, raising a family and doing other things, you will always get caught cooking with frozen meats. So what! These veggies, fennel, cabbage, beans – they hold up to the longer cooking time. The sauce reduces further and you have a great tasting meal.
After the stew is done, either add the lightly steamed green beans…or add them in the last 10 minutes of cooking…or add them when you are reheating for dinner…get it?
No fat to remove from this dish, babies! Cook and eat.
P.S. You can also fry rabbit, make a soup with it and/or generally substitute it for chicken any time. I am still experimenting with it…more recipes to come.
*Where I get my rabbits: my market carries them in the frozen section with the ducks, kosher chickens and beef soup bones…and my other source is Creston Valley Meats**
**Simon Caleb is my ‘kosher’ butcher. He happens to be observant and he keeps kosher. And the quality and handling he gives his charges renders his meats kosher to my heart and mind. I do not keep kosher or use kosher meats because the texture changes and chicken can be overly salted. My grandfather Sam was a kosher butcher but even he did not keep kosher. He brought an order of kosher steak over to our house once. Never again. I respect kosher and I understand kosher but I do not keep kosher. I feel close to my roots and to spirit in other ways. But PLEASE use kosher meats and make kosher substitutions wherever you need to in order to follow your heart and mind if you do keep kosher.
***Yes, I grow it, but you can always use dried herbs, just use less. Don’t worry. It’s not a big thing.