Some people would consider Rabbit to be a wilderness or country food. Maybe when I say historical, you picture some starvin’ Pioneer tryin’ to snag one. It’s not. Back in the day, Rabbit was a common dish. As common as Chicken is now days. It was used in stews, fried, roasted or in dishes I can’t even pronounce like this one… Fricassee.
Fricassee is basically a stew made up of pieces of chicken or other meat. The meat is cooked in a in gravy. Now a days, carrots, onions and I suppose, whatever else is added. When done, it’s then served with noodles or dumplings. Historically, this recipe says nothing about noodles or dumplings. It also lacks having carrots or anything making one think of Beef Stew, like I did, after I read the definition in the Dictionary.
Rabbit was often served at Monticello and anywhere fancy-shmancy Socials and fine, respectable Gatherings were held. From Pub to Plantation, it was very common to see Rabbit on the menu. Many Homesteaders now days, (people trying to raise their own food), are learning that Rabbits are a fairly easy animal to raise and butcher. Rabbit is all white meat. It’s kind of like chicken only with the texture of Pork. Still, this dish or rather it’s recipe is a classic we don’t see too much anymore so I wanted to post it for those who love the Historical bit of the Hungry Hen. Remember, these recipes were cooked when everything was from scratch—from the biscuits to the grits! And while I have not tried this one as of yet, if you do, please come back to Cluck or Crow about it!
- 1 Rabbit
- 1/4 cup of Butter
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 medium Onion, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 cups Red Wine
- Rind from 1/4 Lemon
- Few sprigs of Parsley
- 2 stalks of Celery with leaves
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 TBSP Flour
- 1 TBSP Butter
- Chopped Parsley
- Cut Rabbit into serving pieces and dust with flour.
- Heat Butter in skillet with a tight-fitting lid.
- Add Rabbit pieces, sprinkling with Salt & Pepper.
- Fry until nicely brown on all sides.
- Now, stir in onion and cook for a few minutes.
- Next, add Wine.
- Tie Lemon Rind, Parsley sprigs, Celery and Bay Leaf inside the cheesecloth and drop it in the skillet.
- Cover and Simmer until the meat is tender—usually takes an hour.
- Lift Rabbit onto a hot serving Platter and discard Seasoning Bag.
- Work flour & butter together until well blended in a bowl. Add to liquid and cook while stirring continuously until sauce bubbles.
- Pour it over the Rabbit and sprinkle with parsley.
Notes: Now, while this recipe doesn’t say a thing about noodles or dumplings, feel free to pour this over them.
Recipe taken from : The American Heritage Cookbook 1964