Sunday Supper: Guest Chef FK Savory Roasted Rabbit with Creamy Polenta and Garlic Cremini Mushrooms

That wascelly wabbit. Rabbit holds a special place in my heart and I find myself coming back to it over and over. The first time that I ever visited San Francisco was also the first time that I had tried rabbit. We went to dinner at a little place called Albona, an Istrian restaurant nestled in North Beach. It is small and quaint lending itself to a very personal experience. We met the owner, Bruno, who gave us a tour of the kitchen, a guide to his menu and stories of his childhood in the hillside town of Albona, over-looking the Istrian Peninsula and the Adriatic Sea. We ate and drank the night away before catching our plane to Cabo San Lucas in the morning.


I felt that I should share the pleasure of rabbit with you all today as it is very easy to make. We had the pleasure of having a guest chef in the house last night. Chef Dave, also known as FK, makes an intimidating dish very approachable. This is a simple dish to make and offers multiple flavor profiles that will wow you and your guests. If you make this dish, I want to hear from you! Email me the photos or your comments at You can find rabbit at your local butcher. You may want to call ahead as some only offer frozen.


What you need:

Rabbit (one rabbit will feed four)

fresh thyme sprigs

San Marzanos diced tomatoes



whole milk

3 garlic cloves

chicken stock

Parmesan cheese

salt & pepper

Yellow onion or sweet onions



truffle oil

olive oil

meyer lemon

fresh basil

cremini mushrooms

1 cinnamon stick


red wine


What to do

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove the innards from the rabbit and set aside. Make bed on roasting rack of mirepoix (yellow onions with skins on, celery and carrots) drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Place fresh thyme sprigs throughout the pan.


SUGAR TIP***The mireipoix bed will prevent your rabbit from burning while baking.


In a large pan, saute onion, diced carrots and celery in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock and San Marzano tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook down for about 15-20 minutes over medium heat.

Meanwhile, salt and pepper the inside of the rabbit. Place rabbit over the mirepoix, coat with butter and drizzle with olive oil to prevent rabbit from drying out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then place 1 T. of butter between each segment piece:head, legs, center. Pour tomatoes over rabbit and place in oven.



Roast for 1.5 hours basting the rabbit every 15 minutes for one hour. Squeeze meyer lemon over rabbit every 15 minutes throw hull in the mushroom pan. Adjust temp to 450 for last half hour to crisp skin.


Meanwhile begin making your polenta. A really good polenta takes about an hour to make. Combine 1/2 c. water with 1/4 c. cream (or whole milk), 1 sprig thyme, 2 T. butter and bring to a boil. Stir in 2/3 cup dried polenta and stir repeatedly. Reduce heat and allow to cook over a simmer for the next hour stirring often.


In a small sauce pan, add the rabbit livers and saute onion, shallot, garlic and butter. Add whole sticks of thyme, madeira and 1/2 c. itatiliano wine (or any other delicious red wine that you may have), reduce til au sec. Add a cinnamon stick in the last 15 minutes.


In a large pan,  over medium high heat, saute thyme sprigs in butter. Add sliced mushrooms and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder. Pour in madeira and allow to cook down over medium heat. Add the lemon hulls to this pan while cooking. Drizzle with truffle oil in the end.


Remove your rabbit from the oven and place your polenta in the center of each plate. Cut rabbit into quarter pieces and place on top of the polenta. Add mushrooms over the rabbit and finish with the madeira sauce. Serve with your favorite red wine such as a 2003 Chianti Classico Ripanera.




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