coniglio alla cacciatora (italian)
In Italy, this is a second course, served after pasta with bread to mop up the juices. If you use chicken instead of rabbit, be aware that a battery bird will cook in significantly less time than a free-range one and dispel more liquid. Vinegar is traditionally used in alla cacciatora dishes as a braising liquid, as its acidity helps to “cut” the flavour of strong game meat. Tomatoes and wild mushrooms are an optional extra, too.
Soak rabbit in cold water for a few hours to extract any blood.
Clean and pat dry rabbit, season with salt and pepper and cut into chunks. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy, cast-iron pan.
Sauté rabbit for about 10 minutes, until it is browned on all sides.
Add garlic and sage and sauté for a minute.
Add red wine vinegar and stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan with parchment paper and simmer until the rabbit is cooked through, 30-40 minutes. Keep adding water if the pan begins to go dry. Transfer rabbit pieces to a plate and add herbs to the sauce. Simmer for five minutes until slightly reduced.
Return rabbit to pot and heat through. Check seasoning and serve.
ingredients 1 whole rabbit (or chicken drumsticks and thighs), cut into pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
15g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves
2 sage leaves
100ml red wine vinegar
150ml chicken stock
Sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme (to taste)
A bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh oregano
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste