Recipe: Italian Braised Rabbit (Coniclio Bianco)
Serves 4 to 6
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
10 juniper berries, crushed (optional)
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 / 3 cup olive oil
1 onion, sliced root to stalk
½cup white wine or vermouth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
5 to 6 cloves roasted or preserved garlic
10 to 20 green olives, pitted and halved
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Cut the rabbits into serving pieces. Save the stray bones in the pelvis, ribs, belly flaps and neck for the stock.
2. Make a quick rabbit stock: Place all of the rabbit pieces — not just the stray ones — into a pot and cover them with cool water by about one-half inch. Bring this to a boil, then remove from heat. Skim off any sludgy stuff that floats to the top. Fish out all the good pieces of rabbit — legs and saddle — and put them in a bowl in the refrigerator. Add the bay leaves, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, juniper berries (if using) and cracked black peppercorns to the pot. Return everything to a bare simmer and cook for one hour. Strain, discarding the solids, and set aside. You will need a cup of rabbit stock to complete the recipe; any remainder can be covered and refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months.
3. In a heavy, lidded pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the sliced onion and cook until soft and translucent. Do not brown them. Add the white wine, 1 cup of the stock, the rabbit pieces from the refrigerator, the thyme and the garlic. Bring to a simmer and add 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook until the meat is tender, about 1½ to 2 hours.
4. Finish the dish by adding the green olives and fresh parsley. Cook for two to three minutes and serve.
— Adapted by the Los Angeles Times from a recipe on Hank Shaw’s food blog “Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.”