Rabbit casserole

Rabbit casserole

Coniglio o pollo alla cacciatora

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Our friends Clare and Mirko live in rural Tuscany and learnt this recipe from their neighbour. Rabbits are either farmed or shot in the wild. Giancarlo tells me they are always sold with the head on so that you know you are not buying a cat, as was once the way in poorer days. As rabbit usually comes with the liver in Italy, this is either added to the dish or dusted in flour, fried briefly and given to children. You can also add the liver to a meat ragù. The recipe works equally well with chicken.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1.6kg rabbit, jointed into 12 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 rabbit liver, (optional)
200ml dry white wine
2 heaped tablespoons tomato puree
400ml Poached chicken & chicken stock
or Vegetable stock
or water
80g black olives, (stones in)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
swiss chard or spinach

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, wide casserole or heavy-based pan over a low heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the rabbit and season them with the salt and a few good twists of pepper. Cook over a low-medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning the meat occasionally, until the pieces of meat are golden all over. Keep an eye on the pan as you don’t want the onions to burn. Roughly chop the liver and add it to the pan, if you have it, followed by the wine, and leave to simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  2. Stir the tomato purée into the stock or water, then pour it into the pan. Continue to cook for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is soft and falling from the bones. At the last moment, add the olives.
  3. Remove from the heat and serve with Swiss chard or spinach drizzled with your best olive oil and some lemon juice.

Variation: Chicken casserole

  • Use 1 chicken, jointed into 12 pieces, instead of Rabbit.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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