Rabbit in Apple Cider

With the weekend thaw, hunter’s are able to take their Beagles out for rabbit. Even without the dogs, the weather is nice to “take a walk,” or hunt, in search of a rabbit dinner. The season goes until February 28th in Seneca County. Rabbit has a very mild flavor and can be substituted for most chicken recipes. Below is one of my family’s favorite rabbit recipes, which is very easy and tasty.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 dressed wild rabbit (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), cut in quarters
1 medium onion, cut in large chunks
1 cup diced carrots
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 apples, peeled and quartered

In a dutch oven or braising pan, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add rabbit and brown well on all sides. Remove rabbit and set aside.

Add onion and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring now and then, until vegetables are tender (do not let them get too brown, adjusting heat accordingly).

Stir in cider, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Heat to boiling, scraping up the bottom of the pan. Add browned rabbit pieces back to pan, reduce heat, and cover.

Simmer until rabbit pieces are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the apple pieces to the pan, re-cover and simmer just until apples are tender, maybe 10-15 minutes more. Discard bay leaf and serve. Makes 2-4 servings. Calories 237, fat 7 grams (if 4 servings).

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