Yesterday I had a wonderful Christmas dinner with two very dear friends with whom I prepared a four-course menu showcasing the very best of Italian cooking. Coniglio alla Cacciatora (the rabbit of the hunter’s wife) was served as the main course. This delicious stew comes in many shapes and forms, and you will find versions with red wine, olives and vegetables. I personally prefer white wine over red and use some chili for a welcome kick. This dish can also be prepared with chicken, which is a good option if rabbit is not readily available.
2 rabbit legs, cut into 1 inch/2.54 cm pieces
1 onion, sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 dry chili peppers
200 gr seasonal mushrooms
salt and pepper
1 tin (à 400 gr) peeled tomatoes
1.5 dl dry white wine
3-4 bay leaves
fresh parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Fry the rabbit pieces over medium heat until they brown and set aside.
Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Add the chili flakes. When the onion is tender, add the sliced seasonal mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Add the peeled tomatoes and the dry white wine together with the bay leaves. Bring the rabbit pieces and their juices back to the frying pan and let the mixture simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes. If necessary, concentrate the sauce by increasing the heat. Sprinkle some fresh parsley over the rabbit pieces and serve with potatoes or polenta.