puttanesca-esque braised rabbit

I am posting this separate from my How to Butcher a Bunny post to spare you in case you just want a good recipe without the history. And if you don’t eat rabbit, this recipe can easily be made with any other meat quite easily. But i’ll have you know that rabbit is nearly fat free and tastes amazing, like if pork chops and chicken got together and made a baby!

After a long day of shooting guns in the yard, Wesley and I (see butchering story for explanation, haha) started preparing the braised rabbit in preparation to share this special meal with his brother, my brother, and my parents.

Serves – 6-8

Nutrition – Not great, but not unhealthy enough to feel bad.


Brine –
13 and 3 cups water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

For frying the rabbit –
2 quartered rabbits
Olive Oil
bowl of flour
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp chopped basil

the sauce-
2 cans tomato puree
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or rabbit stock if you do this often)
1/2 cup dry white wine (i prefer riesling)
1/2 stick butter
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 large vidalia onions, sliced into thin rings, save greens for another recipe.
1 TB fresh chopped rosemary
1 TB fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup roughly chopped purple basil
1 cup roughly chopped green olives
1 cup roughly chopped black olives
a good amout of fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh ground sea salt

Brine 24 hours before.
Boil 3 cups of water in a 8 quart pot. Add 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Simmer this basic brine until the salt and sugar dissolve. Turn off heat and let the brine cool and then add to the remaining 13 cups of water and add your 2 quartered rabbits. Put in the fridge for 24 hours.

Brined rabbit makes it look like you are a serial killer that keeps body parts.

When you are ready to cook, remove the rabbit from the brine and pat dry. Salt the meat liberally and dredge in flour. Heat about 1/4″ of olive oil in a stock pot and then fry each piece of rabbit about 2-3 minutes on each side depending on the size and then place in to your casserole dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 while you prepare your sauce.

Using the same stock pot that you fried in, add 1/2 stick of butter and let it melt and create a kind of roux with the leftover flour and oil. Then add the vidalia rings and garlic and sautee. This might be the best smell on Earth. Vidalia onions are one of many southern ingredients I miss living up north. Shallots just aren’t the same. Then add the white wine and stock and stir to mixed and warm.

Add your tomatoes and stir to warm and then add in the rest of your ingredients, saving the olives for last.

Then pour over your rabbit and cook in the oven for an hour and a half, or until rabbit has reached an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

You can see the 1/4 of the pan with olive free sauce for my brother haha.

Then you are ready to serve! We served this with my mother’s squash and zucchini casserole and it was INCREDIBLE, but it also works well with pasta, clearly.

Consensus – fresh killed rabbit is phenomenal. The meat was perfectly cooked and very moist, and the ribs that Wesley and I set aside to try had some super amazing meat on them that I am glad we got to try, even if it did only make for a couple bites.

10 thoughts on “puttanesca-esque braised rabbit

  1. Pingback: how to butcher a bunny…and why i did. WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT | ugly food tastes better.

  2. Looks absolutely incredible. And you are right: rabbit does taste kind of like what would happen if a pig and a chicken had a baby!

    And you are also right: cut up and brined, rabbit parts make you feel like a serial killer.

    Thank you for the drool-worthy photos, the recipe, and for making me laugh out loud!

  3. Having been lucky enough to try this dish, I have to comment that it was truly delicious. The sauce is amazing and would pair well with just about any meat as Eryn said. It is even bold enough to stand alone with just pasta. The rabbit was a bonus.

  4. You are welcome Daisy! I love tomato sauces, they are so freakin good and easy and if you skip the oil and butter part, are virtually fat and calorie free. Thanks mom!!!!

  5. Pingback: Easter egg pinatas. | ugly food tastes better.

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