This is a version of Basque Chicken made with rabbit, and so cheekily called “Jessica Rabbit” in our house. Rabbit is one of those things which can legitimately be said to “taste just like chicken”, all be it a chicken that’s been running around a lot. Its flesh is a lot denser than your average chicken and its got a very slight gamey taste. It’s certainly an easy game animal to get started with though, especially if most game meat is a bit too strongly flavoured for you.
Being a country girl, I feel a bit odd about buying a rabbit when there are so many running annoyingly around my parents field, eating away to their hearts’ content, but oh well, a city dweller’s got to do what a city dweller’s got to do…
It’s certainly a weird meat to prepare, as it’s much more ‘animal’ than most meats you have to do a lot to. I’m used to boning chickens but taking on a rabbit was a very different beast! It’s four-leggedness soon becomes apparent, and, jointed, it has a lot more bones than your average jointed bird.
So the long and the short of it is, I abandoned boning the rabbit for this dish and decided to cooking it in jointed pieces instead. I really love basque chicken, and all dishes with olives in really, and so this is my version of it with rabbit, served with lots of buttery polenta.
Basque “Jessica” Rabbit – Serves 4
- 1 Rabbit – jointed (your butcher will do this for you)
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 peppers – I like a mix of colours
- 1 glass of white wine
- A splash of sherry
- A good handful of green olives
Chop and fry the onion in lots of olive oil, then add the rabbit pieces to brown. Add a can of tomatoes, a glass of white wine, the garlic, paprika (a good few shakes) and the sliced peppers. Leave on a low heat, lid on to cook for around an hour.
After an hour, taste the sauce and add a little sugar if needed. Add a splash of sherry and leave to reduce for about ten mins. Add in the olives and cook for another twenty mins or until the rabbit is beginning to fall off the bone (it won’t do this as easily as chicken, as it’s more dense).
Serve with some well-buttered polenta, or rice, mash, or whatever you fancy!
What are your favourite rabbit recipes, and how do you get past all the bones?!
I treated myself to a new camera this week, the Olympus Pen E-PM1. Hopefully I’ll get some good shots for the blog in weeks to come. Ax