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Rabbit With Prunes And Olives

serves 4

Rabbit is a clean, lean, sustainable meat with a delicate flavor similar to chicken (which can be substituted here). If you make this dish ahead, the flavor will only improve.

Read more about this recipe in Jeanne Kelley's Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes cookbook.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole rabbit (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 3 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup picholine or other brine-cured green olives


prep: 20 minutes
total: 1 hour


large Dutch oven (or enameled pot)
large bowl
wooden spoon


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the rabbit, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the rabbit to a bowl.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion and garlic to the Dutch oven and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the pan should be dark brown but not burned). Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

3. Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Return the rabbit to the Dutch oven and add water. Add 2 tablespoons of the oregano and the brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rabbit is no longer pink and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

4. Stir in the prunes and olives and simmer, partially covered, until the rabbit and prunes are very tender, about 15 minutes. (Can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Return to a simmer.)

5. Transfer the rabbit to a serving dish. Boil the liquid in the Dutch oven until it has thickened and reduced to sauce consistency, about 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and spoon over the rabbit. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oregano and serve.

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