Warm, rich broth filled with vegetables, rabbit, and light, buttery dumplings - this is a rich and comforting dinner for a cold winter evening. I used this chicken and dumplings recipe from Fearless Homemaker to create a rabbit version of this classic dish. Surprisingly, this the the third rabbit recipe I've shared on my blog now. I never thought I would love to eat rabbit, but hey, now I do.
Today my husband and I went to look for a snowy owl. He saw this snowy owl a few times and it's been in the same field for a couple of weeks. I was really excited (and hopeful), but we didn't spot it. I am pretty bummed because this is not the first time I've attempted to see an owl in the wild and been skunked --- I've yet to see one. I've heard them, but not seen them... We aren't huge birders, but I do keep a life list and enjoy trying to see new species. After being outside in the winter looking for owls, or doing any other activity, you need a stick-to-your ribs meal like this stew!
Rabbit and dumpling stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 rabbit, about 2-1/2 lbs., cut into quarters
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves, divided
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown the rabbit on both sides and then remove and set aside on a plate.
Add the celery, carrot, onion, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon thyme to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, Stir in the garlic, a good pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper and cook for another minute. Return the rabbit to the pot along with the bay leaves and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rabbit is cooked through and tender, about 35 minutes. When the rabbit is cooked, remove it from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the shredded meat to the pot and discard the bones. Discard the bay leaves.
Whisk together 1/2 cup flour along with two cups of the cooking liquid in a medium bowl. When smooth, slowly whisk it into the pot and cook until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the butter and buttermilk until combined. Grab about two tablespoons of the dough at a time and drop it into the pot. Repeat until all dough is used. Cover and continue to simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
What was I cooking one year ago?: chicken taco soup
Two years ago?: salted peanut butter-honey cookies
Three?: Meyer lemon polenta cake