Friday, September 24, 2010

Rabbit Recipes: Litsa's Rabbit and Onions & Froso's Wine-Marinated Rabbit with Onions and Potatoes (Κουνέλι της Λίτσας & Κουνέλι της Φρόσω)

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.

Litsa’s Rabbit and Onions (Κουνέλι με Κρεμμύδια της Λίτσας)
Serves 4
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)
Serves 4
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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Peter M said...

Next to Hasenpheffer (Bugs Bunny joke), rabbit & onions, stifados are warm, comforting dishes. On the rare occasion that a hare is caught/hunted - the dish would be sublime!

Faith said...

Oh my pregnant stomach has suddenly developed a strong craving for RABBIT! Your pictures are really nice.

upinak said...

Laurie, this looks good.

How about grouse or ptarmigan? I think i am in love with you!

Laurie Constantino said...

Upinak, grouse/ ptarmigan would substitute really well for the rabbit. Mmmm it makes me hungry just thinking about it!

Anna A. said...

I love kouneli but never thought of making it. Now you've got me curious! I will be scouring the markets of Portland for bunny since I don't have as cool of neighbors as you do :P

Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Admittedly, my rabbit eating adventures are limited but surprisingly I did enjoy it. Love the recipes Laurie and thanks for the very detailed instructions! You certainly have great neighbours!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious, but I will substitute the bunny for chicken. It is comforting food and i can smell the flavors from here

Foodjunkie said...

Both recipes look delicious. We never eat rabbit at home, I think it is a good time to start!

manju said...

Kind of cosmic. Came to see what you've been up to in the last year while I was away, and I see not one but 2 recipes for rabbit. I have one in the fridge and not sure what to do with it. Will try Litsa's recipe first. Looks like you are on a break now so I will content myself with catching up. Hope all is well. Happy New Year!