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Slow-Cooked Rabbit

Slow-Cooked Rabbit

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Serves 6 to 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

The original recipe, from the 1700s, was “jugged hare” because the rabbit was cooked in a ceramic jug placed in a pot of simmering water in a fireplace. Today we have appliances that make cooking much easier. For this recipe you can use a crock pot, casserole dish with cover, or a pan on the stove. I used my Instant Pot as a slow cooker. You could also do this dish with chicken pieces.


2 tablespoons oil
1 rabbit, about 3 pounds (1.4kg), sectioned, preferably with giblets
1 small to medium onion
About 20 to 30 whole cloves
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
About 10 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh marjoram
1 bay leaf
About 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup (120ml) dry white wine or vermouth
½ cup (120ml) chicken or vegetable stock
Salt & pepper


Heat the oil in a skillet. Lightly brown the rabbit pieces on both sides. Transfer to a crock pot or other type of cooker.

Stud the onion with whole cloves by pushing the pointy end into the onion. Arrange the rabbit pieces in the crock pot. Add the onion along with all the other ingredients. Cover the pot and set the cooking time for about 5 hours. A longer cooking time will help the rabbit meat to be more tender.

Transfer the rabbit to a serving dish and cover. Strain the liquid in the pot, transferring it to the skillet used earlier. If the rabbit was packaged with giblets, add them to the skillet. Heat to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Reduce the liquid by about half, cooking the giblets in the process.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a stainless steel bowl or large measuring cup and purée the giblets with an immersion blender, or strain the liquid. Spoon the liquid over the cooked rabbit. Serve with your favorite vegetables. (According to my Larousse Gastronomique Encyclopedia, in France this rabbit dish is often served with noodles.)

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