Was it Peter Cottontail or Bugs Bunny that turned so many American’s off to eating rabbit? We certainly don’t feel that way about chicken. In Italy and France, however, rabbit is happily consumed as often as chicken, without hesitation.
The first time I tried rabbit, was as an exchange student living with a family in Tours, France. For sport, my French family relished in teasing me and my plebeian palate. One evening, for example, “Madame” presented a dish, with little legs emerging from the pot, to the table. With a flourish she informed: “C’est un chat.” (“It’s a cat.”)
Fearing for the family pet, I stared, aghast, at the pot. Laughingly she retrenched, telling me it was rabbit. Rabbit sounded infinitely palatable than cat so, greatly relieved, I happily dug in. I haven’t looked back.
My conspirator in sleuthing interesting food, Wendy Williams, said I should explore cooking with white New Zealand rabbit. She then directed me to Chef Michael Chiarella’s rabbit recipes from his “Tra Vigne: Seasons in the California Wine Country” cookbook. This famed Napa Valley restaurant is known, particularly, for its marvelous rabbit dishes.
I’m always trying to eliminate steps or ingredients in recipes, as long as the subtraction doesn’t compromise the outcome. Before embarking on this recipe, I quizzed Wendy. Her reply: “I think the recipe can be simplified a lot, but part of the beauty of most of Chiarello’s recipes are the layers of flavor due to the reductions”. I did simplify the recipe somewhat, and reduced the butter, but I’ve provided the link to Chiarello’s original recipe below.
This is one of those great, winter weekend recipes. As mentioned in the cookbook, it’s not hard but time-consuming. And, incidentally, a great introductory recipe for the rabbit novice.
This was marvelous served on a bed of Al Dente locally made egg fettucini. If you purchase a whole rabbit, here’s a good instructional Youtube video for cutting whole, dressed rabbit into pieces.
I hesitate writing a recipe that would require a trip to the Arctic Circle to purchase (or hunt down) the main ingredient, but here you have it. Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bob Sparrow (Sparrow Meats in Kerrytown) could get you a caribou tenderloin if you wanted one. Our friend, Jack, went hunting with friends on … Full recipe post »
Serving rabbit to some guests might make them squeamish, the unindoctrinated informing you they recently began a vegetarian diet. (By recently, they mean after they gobbled down the beef tenderloin canape appetizers you served a few minutes prior.) I remember the first time I was served rabbit. I was a foreign exchange student my sophomore year in … Full recipe post »
Taste buds prickle; wanderlust triggered. An Argentine barbecue (asado)
enticed me to Patagonia. A friend gave me a vial of ground sumac berries--4 months later I was
waking at dawn to the "Call To Prayer" in Turkey. Porcini to Tuscany, and so on. Read more about my chronicles of
trips and favorite associated recipes. Browse my travel recipes...
Here are ideas gleaned from others that speak to me;
where I highlight projects that bring friends, neighborhoods, and communities together. For me,
complimentary food makes the project and event more fun. Browse my projects and related recipes...