Spanish Rabbit Stew Hunter-Style
Also known as "Conejo a la Cazadora." Rabbit is served often in Spain, at home and in restaurants, especially in Castilla. It's easy to find in markets in Spain & USA, fresh or frozen. Domesticated rabbit is tender, without a strong flavor like its wild cousin. Rabbit is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great choice as a main course. If you want, substitute chicken and you’ll still be dipping into the rich sauce for more!
- 1 rabbit (approx. 2.5-3 lbs) OR 3 lbs Chicken
- 4 oz. Spanish Serrano ham
- 1/2 large yellow onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 lb. white mushrooms
- 1 large ripe tomato
- Spanish virgin olive oil for sautéing
- 4 sprigs Italian parsley
- 2 tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 6 oz. cognac
- 8 oz. dry white wine
- 8 oz. water
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 65mins
Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Cut the ham into small pieces and set aside. Rinse and cut tomato into small cubes. Rinse all dirt off mushrooms, then trim stems and slice. Chop 2 sprigs of parsley and set apart.
Remove rabbit from packaging. Rinse and pat dry. Cut rabbit into 8-10 pieces. Salt and pepper all sides.
In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat 3-4 tbsp olive oil on medium. When hot, sauté onion and garlic. When soft, add the ham cubes. When onion is translucent, remove onion, garlic and ham from pan with a slotted spatula and set aside on plate for later, reserving the oil.
Add some olive oil to the same pan and brown the rabbit on both sides. Remove from frying pan. Pour any oil left in frying pan into a large casserole or stew pot. Place rabbit and onion mixture into pot and mix. Add chopped parsley and dried thyme to pot and stir. Place on medium heat.
Add the cognac, white wine and water to rabbit and mix. Simmer uncovered for approximately 30 minutes and add chopped mushrooms after 15 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. If necessary, add a bit more water while simmering.
Serve with home-fried potatoes or rice. Spanish stews or casseroles such as this are traditionally served with rustic bread, especially in Old Castilla where this regional recipe originates.