A rabbit might seem like an uncommon meal to most, as it’s not the most day-to-day meal you can imagine. However, in places such as Italy or France, it’s quite common to eat rabbits, sometimes even as common as eating chicken! If you’ve never had a go at cooking a whole rabbit, it might seem like a rather intimidating task.
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How do you cook rabbit? What ingredients and flavoring work well with it? Is it just like cooking chicken? No need to worry, we have the answers to all those questions and more!
In fact, we’re going to show you one of our favorite rabbit recipes: pan-roasted in wine sauce, and we’ll help you get everything ready beforehand to ensure it goes smoothly.
We’ll also give you all the important tips that will help you become a rabbit cooking pro in no time! So, let’s get started!
Preparing to cook rabbit in wine sauce:
Before you start cooking the rabbit, you need to prepare the ingredients and equipment, so that everything is ready and the process is easier!
Defrosting The Rabbit
When buying a whole rabbit, it will either be fresh or frozen. Firstly, you need to choose between these two options:
- Fresh rabbit:
This isn’t as common, unless you go to a market, buy directly from a farm, go to a butcher’s, or you’ve killed the rabbit yourself. However, it’s a great option to go fresh and it will save you from having to defrost it! The problem is, you should eat it that very same day to avoid it going off.
- Frozen rabbit:
This is the most common option and the most likely for you to choose. It will be easier to find, and the likelihood is that it will also be slightly cheaper. It also means that you can store the rabbit until you’re ready to cook it. However, you will have to defrost it!
If you’ve bought a frozen rabbit, the first step is to defrost it properly. This can be done by leaving it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. However, make sure to place it in a deep large plate or bowl, as the rabbit releases quite a lot of liquid when defrosting!
Material Needed For Cooking The Rabbit:
As for the material you will use for cooking the rabbit, it’s important that you have an appropriate pan. It should ideally be around 12 inches big so that there is enough room between the rabbit pieces to allow for proper caramelization, which will give you that delicious result you’re aiming for!
Plus, the rabbit pieces will take up quite some space, especially considering they make up a whole rabbit!
As the pan will also go into the oven, it’s best if you use a cast iron skillet with handles on either side, to make it easier on you when managing the pan and moving it into the oven.
Cutting The Whole Rabbit Into Pieces:
Apart from preparing all the ingredients needed, you also need to further prepare the rabbit. Once it has been properly defrosted, you need to cut it up into pieces for cooking.
This should be a lot easier than you might think, especially because rabbit bones are a lot thinner than chicken bones, making them easier to cut. For this, you will need a cutting board of your choice and a large knife.
You lay the whole rabbit flat on the cutting board, and you’re going to cut it into four different parts:
- Back legs (which will then be separated so that each leg is an individual piece)
- Front legs (which will then be separated so that each leg is an individual piece)
- Half of the rabbit bust
- The other half of the rabbit bust
It shouldn’t take too long, and once you have the pieces nicely cut up, you’ll be ready to proceed to the actual cooking stage.
How to cook rabbit in Wine Sauce: a step by step guide:
Once you have all the ingredients ready, and the rabbit is nicely cut up into pieces, you’re ready to start cooking! This is a basic recipe for you to follow, to ensure you get excellent and delicious results.
However, in time, you should be able to add your own unique modifications to create a recipe that works specifically for your taste!
Here is the step by step guide on how to cook rabbit in wine sauce:
How to Cook Rabbit in Wine Sauce
- Large Pan
- Chopping board
- Kitchen Tools for Cooking
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil or olive oil
- 1.5 lb rabbit defrosted and cut up
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- sea salt
- fresh thyme
- Add oil to the pan and pre-heat. Make sure you’re using regular cooking oil: either sunflower or olive oil. Preferably you will use sunflower oil, as it has a higher heating point.
- Add the pieces of rabbit and sear them for around 5 minutes per side, until they’re well-browned. Don’t try to rush this step, rabbit takes its time and it’s worth the patience!
- While searing the rabbit, add the seasoning of your choice. (We recommend salt and pepper). You could also add other extra ingredients, such as chopped garlic for extra flavoring.
- Once the rabbit is seared, turn the what down to medium and season again. Then it’s time to add the white wine! Deglaze with the wine, this will get all the caramelized juices and add a great flavoring.
- Leave it to sit until the wine has evaporated. This will leave you with a syrupy substance in the pan. Now you add the chicken stock into the pan.
- Take the pan and place it into an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let the rabbit roast in the oven for around 30 minutes. Once it has reached an internal temperature of around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it is done.
- Let the rabbit rest for a while before serving. It will keep cooking on the inside and should reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve with a pinch of fresh thyme on top and enjoy!