Friday, October 17, 2008

Rabbit con Polenta

The second of today's two-fer from Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better!: something to go with the polenta:
Rabbit con Polenta

This dish is extremely popular in Venice and Naples, and will be at your home, too!

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 rabbit, cut into pieces
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 medium onion, cut into small pieces
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 whole cloves
1 cup Chianti or other dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth
polenta (see Basic Polenta, page 143)

Heat butter and oil in large heavy skillet. Add rabbit, turning frequently, until brown on both sides. Add celery, carrot, onion, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, cloves, wine, and broth. Season with pepper. COver and simmer over low heat until rabbit is very tender and meat pulls easily from bone, about 1 hour.

Serve on polenta.

Serves 4-6.

Note: Polenta is also very kind to chicken and veal.

Cookbooks today probably wouldn't use the word "kind" in the same sentence as "veal." The times, they are different.

If you can't stand the thought of eating Thumper, you can replace the rabbit with chicken. You'll miss out, though. I'm very fond of rabbit dishes, all the while also being fond of the animals. Comes from my years in 4H, I suppose... We raised rabbits for several years. Long enough, actually, that all the stray rabbits in the neighborhood ended up hopping their ways into our back yard. I'd never thought of stray rabbits before, but they can and do get out of their enclosures by accident, or through neglect, and they have to hippety hop somewhere. We had a passel of 'em, and took in the stray as long as there was room for them. At one point, that even meant boarding up a shower stall that was in the back yard, waiting to be installed. Odd accommodations, but worked in a pinch.

If I were cooking this, I'd want more mushrooms, as 1-2 mushrooms per serving seems awfully stingy to me, and some nice mushrooms, simmered in wine and broth, sound very tasty.

1 comment:

  1. I've come to the conclusion that most of the stray rabbits we saw were not escapees but dumped by folks who were tired of their pets. Whether those folks dumped in our neighborhood because of the proximity of the Back Hill or because of our rabbit hutches in the back yard, I don't know.