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A Wonderful Cajun / Creole Influenced Rabbit Stew Recipe

When I hunt small animals with my friends Chris and Dave, the wives always want to try something different with the rabbit we bring home. Here’s a recipe the whole family will enjoy. This recipe for rabbit stew is thickened with a simmered dark roux that turns into rabbit etouffée. The method creates a gourmet flavor without the risks of thickening with raw liver and crème fraîche, the traditional finishing touch for gourmet chefs. Serve this delicious, slightly spicy stew over rice, cheese grits, or polenta. If you prefer the Greek version of stifado, you can remove the spicy ingredients and replace them with cinnamon, juniper berries, and allspice.

Creole rabbit stew recipe

Roux ingredients:

½ cup of flour

½ cup oil

Preparation method:

Mix ingredients in a thick glass, oven safe bowl, or measuring cup. Use a deep bowl, or the roux will spill when microwaved. Cook for six minutes. Stir and continue cooking in minute increments until the roux is very dark in color. Total cooking time can take 12 minutes. Transfer the hot roux to a plate to cool and wipe off any excess oil that has built up. Alternatively, you can cook the roux over low to medium heat in a cast iron skillet on the stove, but you need to stir constantly until the roux is browned, which takes 30-45 minutes.

Rabbit stew ingredients:

1 large rabbit, cut into 8 pieces

1 chopped onion

½ cup of chopped celery

½ red, yellow or green bell pepper, chopped or a mixture of all three

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 ounces bacon, chopped

1 tsp dried thyme, basil and parsley or 2 tsp. fresh herbs, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 jalapeno peppers, chopped

¼ teaspoon red bell pepper, white bell pepper, and black bell pepper

Salt to taste

12 small new potatoes

1 cup pearl onions, peeled and root tips removed

1 cup mushrooms, quartered or sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups of chicken broth

1 cup diced tomatoes

Preparation method:

– Salt the rabbit pieces and add olive oil to a large Dutch oven or brazier.

– Fry the chopped bacon until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon.

– Brown the pieces of rabbit and remove.

– Add the diced onion, green bell pepper, and celery and cook until slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes.

– Drain the vegetables and oil, deglaze the pan with red wine. – Add the broth, bacon, rabbit pieces, herbs, mushrooms and drained vegetables and bring the mixture to a simmer. You can simmer the dish over the stovetop or covered coals in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Cook over low heat or bake for 90 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook until tender.

– Remove the rabbit pieces and thicken the rabbit stew with drained roux to the preferred thickness. You can remove the rabbit meat from the bones if you want, but the dish makes a better presentation if you leave them.

Serve this rabbit stew recipe by serving one or two pieces of rabbit, vegetables, and sauce over semolina, rice, or polenta in a presentation bowl and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley, chervil, or cilantro. Garlic bread, jalapeno cornbread, or crisp French or Italian bread, and green salad make rabbit stew a satisfying meal. This dish is a bit spicy, but you can skip the red, white and jalapeno peppers, substituting exotic spices to transform the dish into a classic Greek stifado.

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