Rabbit Chili

The chili in this recipe is not very hot, although you can make it hotter by adding more cayenne or putting a smoked chili (chipotle) in with the rabbit while it is cooking. I have made the accent sauce very hot.


  • 2 rabbits, cut up
  • ½ cup ancho chili puree
  • salt
  • ¼ cup ham or bacon fat, finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup beer
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 smoked dried chilies, stemmed, seeded
  • ½ cup garlic puree
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 16 triangles cooked polenta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


Heat the oven to 375°F.

Rub the rabbit pieces with the ancho chili puree and sprinkle with salt. Put the bacon or ham fat in a 6-quart casserole just large enough to hold the rabbit and the liquid. Add the onions and garlic and put in the rabbit pieces. Put the pot in the oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove the casserole and put it on the stove. Add the bay leaves, cumin, oregano, thyme, cayenne, beer, and 4 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the rabbit is falling off the bones, about 1½ hours.

While the chili is cooking, heat the remaining 1 cup chicken stock with the dried chilis. Simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool and puree in a blender or food processor. Put the puree in a saucepan and heat it. Stir in the garlic puree, lime juice, cream, and salt to taste. Keep warm.

When the rabbit is cooked, remove all the bones and stir the chili vigorously to break up the pieces of meat.

If the chili is still very liquid, cook over medium heat until there is more body to the liquid, being careful not to let it stick to the pot.

Paint the triangles of polenta with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Broil or grill the polenta over charcoal until the outside is crisp and brown. The insides should still be soft and creamy.

Put 2 triangles on each hot plate, spoon some chili over the polenta, and drizzle some of the sauce over the chili. Serve the rest of the sauce separately.