Rabbit braised with chestnuts and mushrooms

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Winter Food

Winter Food

By Jill Norman

Published 2005

  • About

If you use a large rabbit, one will be enough, but you will need two small wild ones. Have the rabbit jointed into six pieces — legs, forelegs and ribs and the back cut in half. Wild mushrooms, such as ceps and chanterelles, or cultivated mushrooms, such as portobellos and crimini, will give the dish more flavour than standard cup mushrooms.


  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 large rabbit, jointed
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bouquet garni of thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and a small piece of cinnamon
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 100 ml stock or water
  • 200 g cooked chestnuts (see below)
  • 200 g mushrooms
  • 200 ml crème fraîche


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and half the butter in a large heavy pan and fry the pieces of rabbit until golden. Remove them to a plate and fry the onion until lightly coloured. Return the rabbit to the pan, season and tuck in the bouquet garni. Pour over the wine, let it reduce slightly, then add the stock or water. Cover the pan and let it simmer over a low heat for about 1½ hours, or until the rabbit is tender when pierced with a skewer. Halfway through the cooking time, add the chestnuts and add a little more liquid if necessary. When the rabbit has 10 minutes of cooking time left, heat the remaining oil and butter in another pan, brush the mushrooms and sauté them.

Lift out the rabbit and chestnuts, place on a serving dish and keep warm. Discard the bouquet. There should be about a wine glass of liquid in the pan; if there is more, boil to reduce it. Stir in the crème fraîche, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms, pour this sauce over the rabbit and serve. It makes a good dish on its own, but if you are very hungry serve it with buttered noodles.