Here's the promised recipe for the Lapin en gibelotte, or rabbit fricassée. It was really delicious — rabbit meat is very white and lean, and of course there's no skin and almost no fat on it. It's not really gamy, but doesn't "taste like chicken" either. My translation is partly translation, partly adaptation, as you'll see if you compare the English to the French (at the bottom of this post.
Lapin cooked in Vouvray wine
1 rabbit2 carrots1 onion1 garlic clove1 shallot2 stalks celery½ lb. smoked bacon½ bottle dry white (Vouvray) wine½ lb. mushrooms2 Tbsp. butterherbs (thyme, bay leaf, tarragon, etc.)
In the morning (or the night before), put the rabbit pieces into a bowl with the sliced onion, shallot, garlic clove, and carrots, as well as the herbs, and the wine. Let marinate for 8 to 16 hours.
Later in the day (the the next morning), take out the rabbit pieces and sponge them off with a paper towel. Fry the bacon (lardons) in some butter (if needed), and then add the rabbit pieces to the pan and brown them lightly. Strain the marinade (nor not) and add it to the pan. Let it cook, covered, for about 40 minutes. Fifteen minutes before you plan to serve it, add the mushrooms, sliced, to the pan.
Put the rabbit pieces on a warmed serving dish while you reduce the sauce (if necessary).
A leg and the saddle of the rabbit, browned, along with the liver and the kidneys, also delicious
The rabbit pieces in the pot with some browned smoked pork lardons
These kinds of French recipes often specify that you should marinate the rabbit, chicken, beef or whatever in wine with herbs and aromatic vegetables, and then strain the marinade and cook the meat just in the liquid. I almost never do that. Why discard all those good onions, carrots, celery stalks, etc.? Just serve it "home-style." The presentation is less elegant, but the result is a more balanced meal.
Rabbit stew, ready to serve
Walt bought some nice little spring turnips, so we put those, peeled and cut into chunks, into the cooking liquid too. The liquid is the white wine from the marinade, as well as an equal amount of stock that I made by boiling down the rib cage and the head (!) from the rabbit carcass.
Here's the French recipe I based mine on: