Remember when pork became ‘the other white meat’ during a series of ad campaigns? Well, we’re starting a new one: Rabbit, the new chicken.
Recently rabbit has been getting a lot of press, all of it good. New domestically raised rabbit is lean, offers white and dark meat and is mild in flavour – very similar to chicken, except that you can bet that where you get your rabbit, it has been naturally raised, without chemicals, and that definitely comes through in the flavour.
Nutritionally, compare it to beef, lamb or pork. Rabbit has about half of the calories and about one-third of the fat, yet you are still rewarded with a rich-tasting meat.
Recently, Dave Kabbes contacted us to question how much we actually do work with rabbit, and if any of our clients were interested in it. To be honest, we don’t work with it much … well, until now. Dave dropped off a couple of rabbits and the experimentation began. The results were amazing: juicy and extremely flavourful meat.
I braised the rabbit Italian style, with red wine and lots of herbs, which was perfect for last weekend’s rain. At the end I had falling-off-the-bone meat and some very happy eaters.
But what about the bunny factor when feeding kids? We’ve heard it referred to as the four-legged chicken, so let the campaign begin with a move towards farm-raised and grain-fed meat with great flavour.
For more information on how and where to get rabbit, contact email@example.com or call 519-638-3349.
Rabbit, Italian Style
- 1 whole rabbit
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Canola oil, as needed
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 1-2 chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 bunch chopped thyme
- 10 sage leaves, sliced
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1/2 cup black olives
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
Cut rabbit into six pieces, or, leave whole (depending on the size of your dutch oven, and your confidence with a knife). Cutting around the bones, take off the two back legs, the two front legs, and then chop the loin in the center. Season pieces well with salt and pepper;
Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid and brown rabbit, in batches;
When rabbit is all browned, set aside and add the red onions; caramelize over medium heat for about 10 minutes, add garlic, cook one minute, and then the rest of the ingredients along with the rabbit;
cover and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until meat is fork tender;
Remove meat and keep warm on a platter;
Reduce sauce over medium-high heat and then pour over rabbit; sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley;
Great with a garlic spaghetti, creamy rice or polenta.
Chefs Kirstie Herbstreit and Jody O’Malley are both Red Seal certified chefs. Together they run the company YouCanCook2, specializing in interactive dinner parties. You can also find them cooking at Entertaining Elements in St. Jacobs, where they hold private dinners for eight people. To contact the chefs, visit their website www.youcancook2.com.