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.
2to 4 cottontails,snowshoe hares or domestic rabbits
1medium yellow or white onion,sliced root to stalk
1/2cupwhite wine or vermouth
1cupquick rabbit stock(see above)
5to 6 cloves,roasted or preserved garlic
10to 20 green olives,pitted and cut in half
3tablespoonschopped fresh parsley
First you must break down your rabbits. (See note below) Save the stray bones in the pelvis, ribs, belly flaps and neck for the stock.
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.
I use my preserved garlic for this recipe, but you can also simply roast a head of garlic: Slice the top quart off a head, set it in foil, drizzle olive oil over it, close the foil, then bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with mashed potatoes, white polenta or rice. A green thing alongside is always nice, too.