Apr 15, 2013

A Big Hot (Tasty) Mess {Rabbit w/ Mushrooms and Wine}

Now that Easter has been replaced by thoughts of shorts and flip flops, beaches and BBQ, I feel like I can put this out there.

Because it's rabbit.  And it seemed a little off to have a rabbit recipe front and center when everyone was gung-ho on the Easter Bunny.

Ok.  Look.   You don't have to sugar coat it.  I know this dish looks like one big hot mess.  Or is it a hot big mess?  Most likely both apply.

But it was good.  The epitome of Frenchy food good.  Rich and full bodied from the wine and mushrooms.  If I hadn't known any better, I would have thought I was eating beef bourguignon.

So why rabbit?  It was in the freezer and beef wasn't.

Besides, rabbit is very lean, low in cholesterol, and high in protein compared to other meats & poultry.

To dress this up a bit (because it looked so terrible), I decided to toast panko breadcrumbs in olive oil and sprinkle them over the top.  Not necessary, but it did make for a nice textured hot mess.

The preparation is similar to how we would prepare Cajun rice & gravy and so is the base flavor (onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic), but the wine and mushrooms take it in a completely different direction.

Rabbit w/ Mushrooms & Wine

2 1/2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 pound boneless rabbit pieces
flour for dredging
salt & pepper
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red wine (funky not fruity)
3/4 c chicken stock
small rosemary sprig

Optional topping:
2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
a drizzle of olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium to medium high in a shallow, wide pan.  While the oil heats, dredge the rabbit pieces in flour and season with salt and pepper.  When the oil is hot, brown the rabbit pieces all over.  Remove from pan.

If the pan looks dry, add another 1/2-1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Turn the heat up.  When hot, add the sliced mushrooms and sear until browned on the edges.

Lower to medium and add the onion, celery, and bell pepper.  Saute for about 6-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes more.  Pour in the wine and chicken stock and simmer for a couple of minutes, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the rabbit back to the pan along with the rosemary and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the rabbit simmers, toss the panko with a drizzle of olive oil.  In a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the breadcrumbs until golden.  Set aside until serving.

When ready to serve, top with the toasted panko.  Serve as is or over cooked rice or wide egg noodles.

Linking With:
Food on Friday: French Food @ Carole's Chatter

Jam Hands  Hearth and Soul blog hop at Premeditated Leftovers Feeding Big
Love Bakes Good Cakes
nap-time creations
Back for Seconds
White Lights on Wednesdays
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Photobucket BWS tips button Freedom Fridays
Foodie Friends Friday


  1. Rabbit was a staple in our house when growing up; I still love it, however hubby does not. Thanks for sharing this recipe Michelle.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Linked you back on my blog & Facebook: http://justnorthofwiarton.blogspot.ca/2013/04/flattery-will-get-me-everywhere.html

  2. I have not eaten rabbit since I was a teenager! My grandfather used to raise them and my grandmother would fry them and make creamed gravy! I would be happy to eat your hot mess! I bet it was wonderful!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe at the In and Out of the Kitchen link party.

    Cynthia at http://FeedingBig.com

    1. Thanks again for hosting, Cynthia. Fried rabbit with creamed gravy sounds great.

  3. Pinning this recipe. We like rabbit...not as much as our cat does though as evidenced by the bunny carnage often left at our stoop, but that's another thing altogether. ;)

    1. Probably wrong, but this made me laugh!

  4. Anonymous4/16/2013

    what's with the last 4 post. did your blog get hacked?
    anyway, wild rabbit, store bought; or does it matter?

    1. Lots of crap getting trough spam filters lately. I'm about to have to moderate comments. Anywhoo...I used wild. Have never used store bought so I can't speak on that. And if you are who I think you are, Anon,...you know that my dad keeps me supplied ;-)

  5. I have to admit, I have never eaten or even seen rabbit sold ! Wouldn't know where to start looking in SA ;-) But the recipe sounds delicious, Michelle ! Thank you for sharing at our ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party :-)

  6. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Hope to see you soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Your recipe looks delicious, Michelle. It looks like dishes I have seen served in France. The flavours sound lovely. I've never eaten rabbit, but we can buy local rabbit and other game at our village butcher.

  8. My hubby likes rabbit and would love this dish. I probably would to. Got a big chuckle about waiting until after Easter! Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures.


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