Rabbit hunter’s style

Rabbit can be used to make just about any chicken dish but there are many recipes specifically for rabbit in Italian cuisine. Rabbit hunter’s style is one of those dishes in Italy that has as many versions as there are cooks. This recipe is ‘in bianco‘ which means with no tomato sauce. It loosely resembles the Ligurian style rabbit, but without the pinoli (pine nuts).

prep time 30 min     cook time 50 min
ingredients for 4
  • 1 rabbit (about 1,3kg – 1.5kg), cleaned, cut into pieces
  •  olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves peeled and gently squashed
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • a few capers
  • handful of olives (taggiasca, Gaeta or other)
  • sage, rosemary
  • peperoncino optional
  • 150 ml dry white (or red) wine
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • salt

1. First wash in running water and then soak the rabbit pieces in water (some add half a glass of white wine vinegar)  for 30 minutes. Rinse the rabbit pieces, pat them dry and season with salt.

2. In a deep frying pan (wide enough to accommodate all the pieces of rabbit without over crowding) warm the olive oil with a couple of plump cloves of garlic for a few minutes. Add the rabbit pieces and cook, turning frequently until they are nicely browned and golden – wear an apron as the oil splatters and spits somewhat.

3. Add rosemary and sage, anchovy fillets and peperoncino if using and and turn the pieces around so they are all coated.

4. Add the vinegar and cook for a minute or two, or until the powerful acrid smell has subsided somewhat.

5. Then add the wine and allow the wine to sizzle and bubble energetically for a few minutes. Cover the dish, turning down and regulating the heat so that the dish simmers gently.

6. Allow the rabbit to braise in the wine for 45 minutes to an hour, turning from time to time and adding some water or broth as needed to keep things moist but not soupy.

7. About halfway through, add the olives and some capers.