It’s grey and a bit chilly in the Northeast, so we’re thinking stew for dinner. Here’s a warming recipe for rabbit stew from our friend, Chef Marco Canora of Hearth Restaurant in New York City. Marco’s classic Tuscan stew is just right for fall – hearty and satisfying but not too heavy. And it just so happens that natural rabbit fryers are on sale right now at dartagnan.com
Marco Canora’s Rabbit Stew with Nicoise Olives and Rosemary
feeds 4 generously, serve with crusty bread and hearty red wine
2 D’Artagnan Whole Natural Rabbits, cut into 10 pieces each
Coarse salt & freshly cracked pepper
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bunch rosemary sprigs, tied together
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted if desired
1. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet, about 3 tablespoons, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the rabbit pieces, about 3 minutes on each side, then set aside in a bowl.
When all of the meat is browned, add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the fond (browned bits) with a wooden spoon. Allow the wine to simmer for a minute or two, then pour it over the browned rabbit and reserve.
Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Fry, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent burning, until the vegetables soften and color, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and rosemary. Stir to coat the vegetables and cook until the paste darkens, about 5 minutes.
Return the rabbit and wine to the pan, lower the heat to medium, and stir to mix. Cook the rabbit, stirring occasionally, until its juices release, about 10 minutes.
Add enough broth to come a little less than halfway up the rabbit pieces, about 2 cups. Simmer the rabbit partially covered, turning it in the pan and basting it occasionally, until the pan is almost dry, about 15 minutes. Add more broth, about 1 cup, and continue simmering and basting the rabbit, adding a little broth whenever the pan looks dry (expect to add 1/2 cup about every 15 minutes). Stew until the rabbit is almost tender, about 1 hour.
Flip the rabbit pieces over and add the olives. Continue adding broth a little at a time and simmer until the rabbit is fully
tender, about 15 minutes more (if the meat pulls easily from the leg bone, the rabbit is done). Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 more minutes to allow the seasoning to penetrate. Serve warm in shallow bowls.