31 December 2009


It’s the season for gibier, or wild game here in Belgium. In the supermarket at this time, we have an amazing choice: wild boar, doe, wild buck, pheasant, pigeon, duck, guinea fowl, reebock, marcassin (baby boar), hare, and rabbit. During the holidays, game is on everyone’s menu. I will admit that I haven’t yet tackled boar or venison. Rabbit, though, is something that we eat from time to time.

In truth, we don’t eat that much meat. When we do, it’s usually something lighter, like poultry or pork. Rabbit fits nicely into that category. It’s a light meat, with more flavor than chicken. Slow cooked like it is here, it turns into a lovely stew. Perfect for a winter night.

This is another recipe that I have from my cooking class in Siena. In Italy they eat rabbit often, and have many ways of preparing it. This is probably one of the simplest. As usual with Italian recipes, the quantities here are suggestions, as are the ingredients. Feel free to substitute what herbs that you have for those used here.

In the course of a normal Italian meal, the sauce from this would be served over pasta for a first course. The meat would then be served as a second course with some vegetables. We just serve it as a stew.

Coniglio in Umido

1 rabbit, cut into pieces

100 g / 4 oz dried tomatoes, chopped

100 g / 3/4 cup sliced olives

40 g / 1/4 cup seasoned flour

2 Tablespoons olive oil, approx.

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 sprig rosemary, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

125 ml / 1/2 cup white wine

1 can chopped tomatoes

  • Soak tomato pieces in boiling water to soften. Soak olives in cold water to remove some of the salt.
  • Heat the olive oil in a deep stew pot.
  • Dip the rabbit pieces in flour, brown in oil over med high heat. You’ll probably have to do them in batches.
  • When the rabbit pieces are brown, remove them and add the onion and garlic to the oil, (add a little more oil if you need to) and cook over medium heat till translucent. Add the celery, the rosemary and the thyme and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Add the wine, and cook till the wine is almost evaporated. Stir continually while this is happening.
  • Add the rabbit back to the pan, pour over the can of tomatoes, the olives, and the dried tomatoes with their liquid. Add enough water to half cover the rabbit.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat for about an hour. Stir from time to time to ensure that the rabbit doesn’t stick. Check the liquid and add more water if necessary. At the end of an hour, it there’s too much water left, leave the cover off and let it reduce.

Serves 4 if they like it and 10 if they don’t.


  • You can do this in the oven if you have a big enough baking pan. Just put it all in the pan at the point where it says “cover and cook” above.
  • Chicken can always be substituted for the rabbit, of course.
  • Chopped fennel is a nice addition--it can go in with the celery. Or instead of the celery.
  • We served this with some good crusty bread and a fresh green salad.
  • I have also served this with boiled potatoes.


Kitchen Butterfly said... 2010, we'll have to meet. Early.....before Spring. Cause I fear if we leave it too late, we'll be talking 2011! Thats a promise on my part.

Plus, I'd love to make this with fennel...since Celery and I love each other not so much!!!!!!

And I've never tried konijn (Rabbit), I am now inspired to try now.

Lots of LOVEEEEEEEEE and best wishes for a great 2010. With much love....and no hands on hips :-)

Kitchen Butterfly said...

And that's a new header....right? Love it!

Anonymous said...


zurin said...

I love ur new banner! what a good n lovely start for the new year. Happy new year Kate. wish you all the joy n peace for u n ur family :)

xxx Zurin

La Table De Nana said...

I've never had rabbit Kate..I know Jamie Oliver raves about it..I am trying to think of what it would taste like..I know I would like it and the dish you've prepared for us w/ the olives..looks delish..I like olives in dishes..and learned this in Siena..what's not to like:) Beautiful city.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love your serves four if they like it and ten if they don't. In our house we love rabbit and so do the French. When we were in Provence we asked our favorite bistro to prepare "lapin" for the plat du jour and they did - several times for us. It was heavenly. I'll have to give yours a try. We like anything with olives.

I hope you have a healthy and happy new year. Lovely new header too.

Bob said...

Ok, I'm wicked jealous that you can buy game at any time of year. The best we get here is ground venison (not too thrilling) and the occasional rabbit. But it's not game rabbit, it's farm rabbit. And of course my girlfriend won't even consider the idea of eating bunnies, so I haven't ever cooked it. Heh.

The stew looks great, it's snowing here and I could go for some stew.

Grace said...

well, i have to admit, i've never even come close to tasting rabbit. the thought makes my heart hurt a little--they're so darn cute! it's a lovely looking dish, though, replete with some awesome herbage. i'd definitely be willing to test it out with chicken, a much less attractive animal. :)

2 Stews said...

Kate...I have avoided eating rabbit all of these's just a "head" thing. It looks delish, though, with chicken??

I'll email about a possible meeting in Paris next month. It sounds like so much fun. Meeting Barbara sounds wonderful, too!!

Happy New Year!!!


2 Stews said...

Oh yeah...I love your new look :-))


Hungry Dog said...

This is totally my kind of recipe. Reminds me of so many marcella hazan recipes--rustic, elegant, and satisfying all at once. I LOVE rabbit though somehow have never cooked it. This recipe may inspire my first attempt!

The Purple Foodie said...

My boy loves rabbit meat - I'm going to share this with him and watch him go wild. hehe . Happy 2010!

Kate at Serendipity said...

This recipe is a great way to try rabbit if you haven't done it. If you don't want to use rabbit, it's also good with chicken. In fact, I think I've seen something similar in one of Frances Mayes' books.

Oz, I'd love that. Dan has a meeting on Jan 23 in The Hague. Could we make it then? Cool!

Zurin, thanks. I hope you have a wonderful new year too!

Monique, rabbit has more flavor than chicken, but it's not a strong flavor at al-not as strong as lamb, for example. Isn't Siena wonderful? We spent two months there. It's my favorite place in far!

Sam, "serves four..." came from an old friend, whose family put it at the bottom of every recipe they exchanged. I use it here whenever I need to estimate portions. It's hilarious, but true as well!

Bob, we don't have gibier all year round-except in the freezer. There's a definite season for it: the fall and winter. We live in the Ardennes forest, where game animals abound. As soon as the season starts, game is on the menu of all the restaurants and in all the butcher shops and the supermarkets. The fact that it's seasonal makes it more appreciated, I think.

Grace, LOL, poor chickens--if only they were cuter!

Diane, WAHOO! Meeting in Paris sounds perfect. I'll look for the email! You can definitely make this with chicken.

Hungry Dog, let me know how it turns out, ok?

Purple Foodie, go for it!

Barbara said...

Haven't had rabbit since the 70's when we lived in Michigan. Wonder if I can find it in a market around here? I'll look.

Happy New Year, Kate!

Maggie B said...

Happy New Year Kate,
We have never cooked rabbit but your recipe sounds like a good beginners dish to try, I'll let you know how I get on.
If you're arranging a meet in Paris don't forget me, s.v.p.
What fun we could have.

Junglefrog said...

That looks gorgeous Kate! I wish you all the best in 2010!!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I've never had rabbit either but the ingredients in this preparation sound wonderful.

Happy New Year, Kate!

nooschi said...

I've always wanted to cook with rabbit but end up chickening out every time. This may just be the kick start I need. Thanks.

Neo-Homesteading said...

Looks divine!