You will want at least 2 cottontail rabbits for 3 people, although this will serve four in a pinch. One snowshoe hare feeds two easily, and a domestic rabbit feeds 2 to 3 people. Still, this dish is so good, and it reheats as leftovers so well, that I'd suggest you make more than you think you will need. And yes, you can do this with chicken thighs. I use my preserved garlic for this recipe, but you can also simply roast a head of garlic. Instructions on how to do that are here. Nothing else in this recipe is hard to find. Serve with mashed potatoes, white polenta or rice. A green thing alongside is always nice, too.
Course: Main Course
Author: Hank Shaw
QUICK RABBIT STOCK
Ribs,neck and belly flaps from the rabbits
10crushed juniper berries(optional)
1teaspooncracked black peppercorns
2to 4 cottontails,snowshoe hares or domestic rabbits
1medium yellow or white onion,sliced root to stalk
To make the stock, Cover all the rabbit pieces -- not just the stray ones -- into a pot and cover them with cool water by about 1/2 inch. Bring this to a boil, then turn off the heat. Skim off any sludgy stuff that floats to the top. Fish out all the good pieces of rabbit -- legs and saddle -- and put them in a bowl in the fridge. Add the remaining stock ingredients, return everything to a bare simmer and cook for 1 hour. Strain and set aside.
Now find a heavy, lidded pot such as a Dutch oven and heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the sliced onions and cook until soft and translucent. Do not brown them. Add the white wine, 1 cup of the stock, the rabbit pieces from the fridge, the thyme and the garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer and add salt to taste. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook until the meat is tender, about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Finish the dish by adding the green olives and fresh parsley. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.