This is another of my favorite wild game recipes. You can find domestic rabbit at specialty supermarkets or, better yet, your neighborhood butcher shop, or you can use chicken thighs in this recipe. For the vegetarians, you could certainly use eggplant or white beans; but the cooking time would be much less! I used a dutch oven and cooked it on the stove, but you could also use a slow cooker- just brown the veggies and meat first and then add everything to the slow cooker for 4-6 hours.
1 whole rabbit, cut-up, or 2-3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
1/4 pound diced ham or uncooked bacon
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped medium
1/2 c. celery, chopped
8 oz whole baby carrots or 1 c. sliced carrots
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 c. good red wine
herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, oregano and thyme, about 2 Tbs total
salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat dutch oven, large saucepan or skillet on stovetop.
Add cubed ham or bacon and cook until it becomes browned.
Add rabbit or chicken pieces and brown on all sides. You may need to add a little olive oil if the ham/bacon is very lean.
Add garlic, onions, celery and carrots and cook until translucent.
Add the tomatoes and the wine- I used 2 pints of my home-canned crushed tomatoes, but a 28-oz can of store-bought is fine. Just make sure you taste before adding any additional salt later!
At this point, you can transfer to a slow cooker for 4-6 hours, or you can continue to simmer it, covered, on the stovetop for about 2 hours. When meat is tender and falling off the bone, remove it to a dish and separate it from the bones. Return the meat to the veggie mixture in the pot.
Heat through, and add herb mixture, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with wide noodles, rotini or penne.