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Posts tagged ‘rabbit recipes’

Reasons to Eat Rabbit

Before you get all weak in the knees and start humming a Disney tune, let’s examine the facts about eating rabbit meat.

  • Rabbit meat is tender, lean, delicious and as versatile as chicken, to which it can also be compared in taste.
  • The Italians and French eat rabbit the way Americans eat chicken, which is to say, quite often.
  • Rabbits are easy to raise in small spaces, especially in urban or suburban settings, and true to their reputation, reproduce quickly.
  • Rabbits are one of the most productive domestic livestock animals there is: they produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water that produces one pound of beef.


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Duckspotting @ Ella’s American Bistro, Wayne, PA

Duckspotting is snapping & sending in pics of dishes from your favorite restaurants, made with D’Artagnan ingredients! We supply restaurants all over the country & love to see what creative chefs are doing with our products. Keep sending them in!

wild hare terrine

Our Wild Scottish Hare, masterfully prepared by Chef Chad Jajczyk

Where: Ella’s American Bistro

What: Chef Chad Jajczyk’s beautiful Wild Hare Terrine with Macerated Figs and Mustard

How: Ella’s is @ 214 Sugartown Road, Wayne, Pennsylvania  19087  |   for reservations click here or call (610) 964-3552

Dining out & spot some fabulous dishes made with D’Artagnan ingredients? Snap a pic & email with the details to We’ll give you & the restaurant a shout out!

Featured Recipe: Rabbit Stew with Olives

It’s grey and a bit chilly in the Northeast, so we’re thinking stew for dinner. Here’s a warming recipe for rabbit stew from our friend, Chef Marco Canora of Hearth Restaurant in New York City. Marco’s classic Tuscan stew is just right for fall – hearty and satisfying but not too heavy. And it just so happens that natural rabbit fryers are on sale right now at

Cooked stove top, this bright, rich stew will perfume your home with the heady scent of rosemary, olives and red wine.

Marco Canora’s Rabbit Stew with Nicoise Olives and Rosemary

feeds 4 generously, serve with crusty bread and hearty red wine

2 D’Artagnan Whole Natural Rabbits, cut into 10 pieces each
Coarse salt &  freshly cracked pepper
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bunch rosemary sprigs, tied together
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted if desired

1. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet, about 3 tablespoons, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the rabbit pieces, about 3 minutes on each side, then set aside in a bowl.

2. When all of the meat is browned, add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the fond (browned bits) with a wooden spoon. Allow the wine to simmer for a minute or two, then pour it over the browned rabbit and reserve.

3. Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Fry, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent burning, until the vegetables soften and color, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and rosemary. Stir to coat the vegetables and cook until the paste darkens, about 5 minutes.

4. Return the rabbit and wine to the pan, lower the heat to medium, and stir to mix. Cook the rabbit, stirring occasionally, until its juices release, about 10 minutes.

5. Add enough broth to come a little less than halfway up the rabbit pieces, about 2 cups. Simmer the rabbit partially covered, turning it in the pan and basting it occasionally, until the pan is almost dry, about 15 minutes. Add more broth, about 1 cup, and continue simmering and basting the rabbit, adding a little broth whenever the pan looks dry (expect to add 1/2 cup about every 15 minutes). Stew until the rabbit is almost tender, about 1 hour.

6. Flip the rabbit pieces over and add the olives. Continue adding broth a little at a time and simmer until the rabbit is fully
tender, about 15 minutes more (if the meat pulls easily from the leg bone, the rabbit is done). Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 more minutes to allow the seasoning to penetrate. Serve warm in shallow bowls.

All About Rabbit

Before you get all weak in the knees and start humming a Disney tune, let’s examine the facts about eating rabbit meat. The Italians and French eat rabbit the way Americans eat chicken, which is to say, quite often. Rabbit meat is tender, lean, delicious and as versatile as chicken, to which it can also be compared in taste. Rabbits are easy to raise in small spaces, especially in urban or suburban settings, and true to their reputation, reproduce quickly.

They are an ideal source of protein for all these reasons, and yet, the United States has yet to embrace a rabbit revolution on the plate. Sure, when times are tough, people will turn to backyard rabbit hutches, like they did during the Depression and both world wars. But there’s something about the bunny that makes us think “pet” not “pan.”

Frank Stitt’s Rabbit Torino

Eating Rabbit
Rabbits have likely been hunted and eaten since before recorded history, though we do know that around 1000 BC the Phoenicians reached Spain and started to domesticate the wild rabbits they found there. These Old World rabbits were native to North Africa and Spain, but human exploration spread them around the globe. Now rabbits exist on nearly every continent –though they haven’t invaded Antarctica yet. In places where they have no natural predators, like Australia and New Zealand, rabbits are viewed as pests, since they devour agricultural crops, and hunts are organized to reduce their numbers.

Eating rabbit is quite common in the Mediterranean, especially in Italy and France, who are responsible for the highest production and consumption of rabbit in Europe. Typical menus in Italy feature rabbit in cacciatoreragu and lasagna. Because rabbit meat can also be very dry, it is often found in stews or recipes that involved simmering or braising in an aromatic broth. The mildness of the meat is often accented with the bold flavors of fennel, mustard, olives, anchovies or tomatoes. In France, rabbit is classically served with mustard, either Dijon or a coarse, grainy style. In the United States, this is the dish most likely to appear on the menus of French restaurants in the early days of their influence. Today, there is a rabbit renaissance going on. Chefs who have been influenced by the nose-to-tail philosophy, and who are interested in issues of sustainability are discovering that rabbit is right in so many ways. Urban farmers are teaching others how to raise rabbits in small backyards, and even how to slaughter and cook them. Food writers are asking questions about this neglected source of protein, and coming up with some interesting conclusions. If we eat pigs and chickens, there seems to be no logical reason to recoil at the thought of rabbit on the menu.


White Rabbit Lasagna


Wild vs. Farmed
When we do eat rabbit, it is generally farm raised, not wild, since selling hunted game is not legal in the United States. For a taste of the wild variety, hunted on game preserves in Scotland and shipped within 24 hours to the D’Artagnan warehouse, try our Wild Scottish Hare in season. Hare has a decidedly gamey-tasting red meat that is dark and lean, quite different than the pink, milder meat of the farmed rabbit. It is, in fact, from a different genera than the rabbit, though similar in appearance.

Farmed rabbit is usually a cross between the California white and New Zealand white, the two most tender of rabbit breeds. These are far better eating than the tough, strong-flavored rabbits that early American pioneers existed on during their trek across the country. That’s because of the breed, and how much their diet determines the flavor of their meat; rabbits are fed sweet alfalfa hay, oats, wheat and barley, not strong greens like kale or cabbage, to preserve the animal’s delicate flavor.

John Vaast’s Rabbit Terrine


If you are cooking a young rabbit (8 to 12-weeks old), called a fryer, which will be more tender than the older roasters(15-20 weeks), you can fry or roast it. The roasters, contrary to their name, need slow, moist cooking, like braising.

If you are cooking rabbit parts, try the saddle or loin, which are the most tender of the cuts. The front legs are tiny and are best to set aside for stock or stew. The hind legs are tough and almost always need a moist braise. Lean rabbit meat really begs for bacon, or ventreche, to add some fat and protect it during cooking. So don’t be shy with the duck fat, olive oil, or bacon.

All About Louisiana Cuisine (Just in time for Mardi Gras!)

If ever there were a state in this union that was known and renowned for the quality, diversity, and sheer quantity of food it both produces and consumes, it must be Louisiana. A territory that, over the centuries, has been inhabited by everyone from the French, Spanish and Native Americans to exiled Canadian trappers (Cajuns) and that beautiful mix of ethnicities that are Creoles, its food is as varied as its people. Whether you’re in the deep of the swamp or the revelry of the city, in the warmth of someone’s home or in a two-hundred year-old restaurant, finding a wonderful meal is never very difficult. The staggering variety of dishes is something that fills many books to this day, and will likely continue to do so, however we’d be remiss if we didn’t comment on a few of our favorites from a state so historically known for its adoration of good food.

Naturally, any discussion of Louisiana cuisine has to include gumbo, which was invented by French settlers as an attempt to make bouillabaisse with “new world” ingredients. Instead of using a traditional French mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots, they employed what’s now known as the Louisiana holy trinity: onions, celery and green bell peppers. Gumbos vary by their thickening agent, specifically okra, file powder (ground sassafras leaves), or a roux. While most people think of seafood when they think of gumbo, one of our favorites, from Lafayette, employs smoked duckpheasant and andouille sausage in a dark brown, almost black roux.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Speaking of ducks and pheasants, we can’t help but marvel at the wild bounty available in Louisiana. While Louisianians revel in the fruits of the Gulf of Mexico, many don’t realize that one of the state’s mottos is “Sportsman’s Paradise.” The sporting this slogan refers to isn’t football or baseball, but hunting and fishing. Spend a reasonable amount of time in the state, and you’ll undoubtedly come across dishes featuringvenison (especially deer sausage), duck, wild boar, even squirrel and nutria. We’re particularly fond of the traditional preparation of rabbit, pan fried with Creole mustard and served with braised greens and mashed potatoes.

Rabbit Etouffee

Louisiana is also well known for its most abundant staple crop: rice. You can find it at almost every meal across the state. Most notable are jambalaya, a Cajun version of the Spanish dish paella, made with anything and everything, including shrimp, fish, chicken, sausage, or whatever happens to turn up in your rifle’s scope that afternoon. Most other Louisiana soups and stews, such as gumbo, shrimp or crawfish étouffée, or alligator sauce piquant, are spooned over rice. Also in Cajun country, you can find boudin, a spicy sausage made from rice, pork meat and livers, vegetables and seasoning in a natural casing. Another version of this dish, boudin balls, is breaded and deep fried as a snack.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

A definite influence of Louisiana’s Spanish history can be found in the ways that its people employ ham. We’re particularly fond of tasso, a very spicy ham that’s cubed and used to flavor soups, stews and pastas. Ham is also found in many other iconic Louisiana dishes, such as the famous red beans and rice. Served every Monday, red camellia beans are soaked overnight, then slow simmered with the “holy trinity,” bay leaf, garlic and spices, and a whole ham hock, preferably smoked, as well as cubed ham and sausage.

Our authentic Tasso is spicy and rich.

We’ve tried to find a decent po-boy sandwich outside of the state of Louisiana, but we’re consistently disappointed. There must be something magical in the state’s air and water, especially when it comes to the “French bread,” for po-boys, which is not a traditional baguette (although it’s the same shape), but soft and chewy on the inside, with a delicate, flaky crust. Many love po-boys filled with fried shrimp, oysters, catfish or alligator, but we’re in love with roast beef long simmered in a rich, dark brown gravy, as well as hot sausage, and, new to the scene from Mahoney’s restaurant in New Orleans, a fried chicken liver po-boy with creole slaw. Whatever your favorite, make sure to order it “dressed” with mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and hot sauce.