Oooh-la-la Jean-Marie’s Rabbit Dish: The Best of French Cooking

I’ll take you along to the French Alps where my French friend’s father will show me how to make his signature rabbit dish.

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THE RECIPE    [Serves up to 6 people]

  • 1  rabbit, nearly 4 lb., or 1 kilo 800 grams [Have the butcher cut it open and clean it, but leave the heart, liver, and kidney still intact.]
  • 14 cloves of garlic [2 for herb paste, 6 for stuffing, 6 for roasting pan]
  • 2 ounce slice from the ribs of a pig, diced, or 50 grams [or substitute bacon]
  • 1 small bunch of fresh or dried wild fennel
  • olive oil
  • peanut or sunflower oil
  • salt and pepper
  • about 3 Tablespoons cream, or 10 grams

Begin preparing the rabbit 8-24 hours in advance. Make an herb paste. Mince 2 garlic cloves Add fresh or dried fennel and diced pork. Process until it’s a fairly smooth paste. Set aside. Cut visible fat off the rabbit. Make 4-5 slits in each part of the rabbit and press herb paste into the slits. Next, make the stuffing:  sauté the heart, liver, and kidney in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon either peanut or sunflower oil, over medium-high heat, until the organs start to brown. Put the organs inside the rabbit with 6 crushed, un-peeled garlic cloves and several branches of dried fennel. Sprinkle the stuffing with salt and pepper and drizzle it with olive oil. Pour a little oil in a roasting pan, add the rabbit and turn it several times until the entire roast is coated with oil. Salt and pepper the meat. Add to the roasting pan 6 crushed, un-peeled garlic cloves and more branches of wild fennel. Place the roasting pan in the refrigerator. To bake, place the roasting pan in a preheated 392° oven  [200° Celsius] for about one hour. Every 5-10 minutes prick the meat all over with a fork, and spoon the pan juices over the meat. To serve:  remove the rabbit and branches of fennel from the pan while you make a quick sauce. Put the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, add cream, and simmer gently for about 20 seconds until the cream and rabbit cooking juices blend together. Cut the rabbit in to pieces and pour the sauce over it.