01 April 2013

The rabbit recipe

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 rabbit
2 carrots
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 shallot
2 stalks celery
½ lb. smoked bacon
½ bottle dry white (Vouvray) wine
½ lb. mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
herbs (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:


  1. It looks delicious and a very straightforward recipe. I will save it and give it a try when we next see rabbit for sale in the butcher in LGP.
    And I agree, why waste all those lovely vegetables when they have been cooked in the delicious juices? Waste not, want not!

  2. Have a good trip Ken, hope the weather over there is good to you!

    We never waste vegetables in dishes like this... why, for heavens sake!

    Jean, you can get some very good rabbit from one of the Thursday market stalls in Preuilly... Susan blogged about them recently.

  3. An awful lot of supermarket rabbit comes from China, but there's a farm in Abilly that specialises in rabbit. They do excellent rillettes de lapin too! Pauline

  4. Oh my.... the head? Now, that reallllly brings home the reality of what you're eating, eh? :)

    The U.S. awaits you! Safe travels,


  5. If* I ever try rabbit it will be yours! I'm sure there's none better than this recipe.

    Bonne route. Enjoy your trip and tell MA hello for me.

  6. I finally made it to CDG airport, hours late -- through no fault of my own. At least I ended up enjoying a beautiful hour-long walk through the center of Paris late this afternoon. Thanks for the messages.

  7. Looks yummy. We had duck breast for Easter, also yummy.

    I hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip. All the best to your family. xoxo

  8. Well, have a nice rest for your long flight tomorrow.

  9. Glad you had enough time to spare a walk in Paris!
    I hope your flight goes better than the trip to CDG.

  10. I haven't liked or eaten rabbit since I was a kid and my parents told me we were eating my pet rabbit! It wasn't true of course, but it certainly put me off ever eating rabbit!


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?