In Greece, our village’s economy depends on wheat and barley farming. In the last 10 years, rabbit populations have spun out of control, ravaging newly sprouted fields, and destroying entire seasons worth of crops. As a result, local hunters work diligently to keep the rabbit population in check, sharing their bounty with fellow villagers.
In September, rabbit is common village fare. Last week, two of my friends, excellent village cooks, served braised rabbit for dinner, but cooked it different ways. I decided to try both their recipes. Both were delicious; I’ll make each recipe again.
The sweetness of onions and Litsa’s light spicing combine with wine and meat juices to form a wonderfully flavorful sauce for rabbit. Our guests were sucking bones, licking fingers, and cleaning plates with bread to capture every bit of the delicious sauce. Chicken may be substituted for rabbit.
Froso’s Wine-Marinated Rabbit with Onions and Potatoes (Κουνέλι Μαριναρισμένο σε Κρασί με Κρεμμύδια και Πατάτες της Φρόσω)
Froso’s deeper, richer spicing gives a more sophisticated, slightly Middle Eastern edge to rabbit’s simple clean taste. Taking bites of meltingly soft onions and rabbit together elicited sighs of pleasure from diners, who smashed the potatoes into sauce to maximize flavor. By using only a small piece of cinnamon, Froso prevents its flavor from dominating the rabbit. Froso says marinating rabbit for 2 days is best, however, 24 hours is sufficient. Use slightly waxy potatoes like Yukon golds or red potatoes, not Russets or baking potatoes which tend to fall apart when braised with meat. The small onions used in this recipe should be about 1 1/2” in diameter, nor pearl onions. Chicken may be substituted for the rabbit, in which case, marinate the chicken for 12-24 hours.
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