Tuesday, December 16

Little Bunny Foo-Foo Went Hoppin' ...Onto My Plate (Coniglio alla Cacciatora)

I slightly hesitate even adding this recipe & topic (so I won't even think about a suggestive photo)....but here we go:

Rabbit is sooo good for you & incredibly lean meat. (In fact, I remember hearing that if you only had rabbit to eat to survive, you would probably die because there is not enough fat!) I know many of you have strong feelings on eating a little bunny - but isn't it the same as eating lamb, pig or any other meat for that matter.  (And for the record I had a pet rabbit as a kid & have no qualms eating rabbit for dinner.) Now it seems that rabbit is more associated with French cuisine than Italian, but we are here to set the record straight! Coniglio or rabbit is on many many Italian menus all across the country - from roasted, stewed, sauces & even in the style of porchetta!

I know it can be hard to find in many grocery stores in the States, here it is readily available at every SMA, Conad & butcher! Just ask your butcher & order a whole rabbit - it will be worth it!

We offer a no-choice, "you'll eat what you're fed dinner" at our Agriturismo and we have served this dish many many times - always with happy guests thanking us for giving them the opportunity to try something new & different that they probably would not have picked off a menu on their own. So the next time you see rabbit or coniglio - give it a shot!

This recipes like many many many in Italy, varies from region to region & house to house.

Coniglio alla Cacciatora (Rabbit in the style of the Hunter)- La Tavola Marche Agriturismo

Rabbit 3-3.5 lbs

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2-3 sprigs of sage

salt & pepper

2 cups wine vinegar

3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

2-3 tablespoons capers

Clean the rabbit & cut into serving pieces. Wash is carefully & wipe dry.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan & sauté the rabbit pieces with garlic & sage until brown all over.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.  Dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water & pour half of it into the pan.  

Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, adding most of the remaining vinegar, a little at a time, as the rabbit dries out.

When the rabbit is tender, transfer the pieces to a deep heated serving dish.  Keep hot.  Discard the garlic cloves. Stir the anchovies and capers into the sauces, and continue cooking & stirring until the anchovies are reduced to a paste.  

Bring to a simmer and stir over a moderate heat until the sauces has thickened.  Pour over the rabbit & serve immediately.

NOTE: Best served with roasted potatoes - patate al forno!

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