April 11, 2013

Rabbit cacciatore

Serving plate of rabbit cacciatore.

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 I had rabbit one time as a kid and was horrified when I found out what I just ate (and thoroughly enjoyed). I didn't eat rabbit again until fairly recently at a local Italian restaurant. We ordered some rabbit crostini and we really loved it. The next time I went there I got a rabbit main dish. Then I found out where I can buy them and it's been love ever since. Rabbit is similar to chicken in texture, but it is leaner and more flavorful. You can read more about rabbit meat at the link to the farm. Bottom line though, it's delicious!

This recipe is an adapted version of Stanley Tucci's recipe in The Tucci Cookbook. This is my first Italian cookbook and I didn't come from an Italian background. So, my idea of Italian food was the Americanized dishes like spaghetti, stuffed shells, and lasagna - basically pasta, red sauce, cheese, and meat. 

It's been great to explore this cuisine and I look forward to trying more recipes from this book. I was excited to find a rabbit variation on the usual chicken cacciatore. We really enjoyed this dish a lot - simple, flavorful, and hearty. I modified it slightly and added the herbs. 

This recipe will serve about 2-3 people, unless you are able to find a larger rabbit. Serve it with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Rabbit cacciatore on a plate.

Rabbit cacciatore
olive oil
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
1 medium yellow onion, diced 
1 rabbit (about 1.5 lbs), cut into serving sized pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can (15-16 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and halved
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, optional

In a large, deep skillet, warm about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate. Then cook the onion the same way. Remove and set aside on the plate with the mushrooms. 

Season the rabbit well with salt and pepper. Add some more olive oil to the pan. Place the rabbit in the pan and cook until golden on both sides. Remove and place on a plate.

Add the white wine and stir well to deglaze the pan. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and rosemary. Return the mushrooms, onions, and rabbit to the pan and nestle the potatoes into the sauce around the rabbit. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rabbit is cooked through and the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve hot topped with the parsley and with some crusty bread.

Serving rabbit cacciatore with bread and red wine.


  1. I can't even imagine where one would get rabbit here...but sounds like a great dish you've made with it!

  2. What a tasty, beautiful looking recipe.
    I'm not sure if I can find rabbit at the local markets, but if not I'll replace the rabbit with chicken??
    What would you advise?
    Because I would like to try this recipe anyhow :)

    1. You could use chicken instead. This is actually the rabbit variation of chicken cacciatore (which uses bell peppers - no potatoes). I think either way would be delicious!

  3. Mmmm....looks very delicious. I do like rabbit. My mom says rabbit is very nutritious and very good for health. I usually cook it in soup. Next time I must try something different, like yours. Thanks very much for sharing.

  4. Ooh, the rabbit sounds delicious in the cacciatore!

  5. Very neat idea! We had some delicious rabbit at a game dinner we went to a year or two back. It was yummy, but seeing the dessicated bunny corpse on the serving plate after everyone had picked it over was a bit disconcerting. My boyfriend just kept picking at it.....

  6. wow! I'm so impressed- this is very adventurous! I've tried rabbit one time but would have no clue where to begin as far as using it to cook!

  7. I have never tried rabbit and not sure if I dare to! Though this stew looks superb.

  8. This indeed is a beautiful dish. As I have gotten older my mind has opened to more delectable meat dishes which includes rabbit.

    Thanks for haring.


  9. I can't get over the dead bunny... I'd SO have to sub for chicken. I grew up with rabbits for pets! I always say I'll try anything once though, so who knows. Maybe rabbit will someday grace my plate.

  10. I am an adventurous eater. Other than bugs, I will try anything. I had rabbit at restaurant before. It was delicious! But I have never though that I can make at home. Thanks for the recipe. I definitely would like to see where I can buy some in LA.

  11. Dear Amy, I never ate rabbit, though I know it is a traditional Italian dish. I remember my grandfather loved it.
    Many dishes that were very traditional are coming back and that is wonderful.
    I am glad that you found a traditional Italian cookbook. So many recipes are modified to the point of being unrecognizable as to its origin. Enjoy the book. I bet Stanley Tucci is a wonderful cook.
    Thank you for your visits and your kind words it means so much that you took the time to visit during this storm.
    Blessings dearest. Catherine xoxo

  12. i've had rabbit ragu from an italian restaurant before, it was absolutely phenomenal. i totally wish i could try this cacciatore, i bet it is fantastic! now i just need to track down some rabbit!

  13. This is too cool!! I've never had rabbit before but I'm open to trying it :)

  14. I have never had rabbit before..would love to give it a try!

  15. I had a pet rabbit for years and years, so I think I'll have to try this one with chicken =). Looks great though!

  16. I used to live near a little grocery store that had rabbit - and it really still looked just like a rabbit! I'd have to bone up on my butchering skills before tackling this one.


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