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Meat RecipesRabbit, Hare & Squirrel >  Rabbit with Fennel & Fava Beans



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We brine the rabbit in order to retain the meat's moisture. Because it is very lean, rabbit can become dry if overcooked, so if the sauce becomes too tight, just acid a little water. We love to serve this dish with soft polenta.
Italian Family Dining by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi

Serves 4


    • 1 gallon water
    • 1 cup salt
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • Half a rabbit, cut lengthwise (about 1¾ pounds)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 garlic cloves, with skins on
    • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 cups sliced wild mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1 cup whole canned Italian tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 1/2 medium fennel bulb, cored and sliced (about 1 cup)
    • 1 pound fresh fava beans, shelled


In a large pot, pour the water, i cup of salt, and the sugar. Add the rabbit and place in a cool spot for 24 hours. Drain and cut into 6 pieces, and dry each piece with a kitchen cloth. Salt and pepper the rabbit to taste.

Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the rabbit, garlic, and rosemary. Cook, uncovered and dry, until the rabbit begins to take on color. Add the oil, onion, and mushrooms. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, cover, and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until the alcohol cooks out of the wine, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and marjoram and bring to a boil. Add the fennel, cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and add the favas. Blanch the fava beans for about i minute. Drain, and then run cold water over the beans to stop the cooking. Remove the tough outer skin by pinching off the end of the skin and squeezing the bean out. Add the beans to the rabbit. Continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the fennel is tender.

Allow the dish to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.


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