Celebratory meal for SSPX and LCRW news: UPDATED

Since I am sure the leadership of the LCWR is hopping mad and since I hope that the CDF and SSPX will hop to it and get the reunion completed, in celebration of the news of the SSPX and of the LCWR.. it has been a four-letter day… I am making …

Coniglio in umido…. Rabbit

I’ll do the Italian thing today.  The last time I made rabbit for the blog was, I believe Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Lapin au Saupiquet.   I have done coniglio in umido before, however, though it has been some years.

Here is some early Bugs Bunny in Italian precisely about this rabbity recipe.  I connect to it especially because of the Hiawatha reference, which reminds me of my hometown.


Here is the rabbit, in an intermediate stage of preparation.


Groceries must be obtained.

Let’s see… white wine… some carrots… olives…

And I think a cocktail might be in order during the preparation.

An Old Fashioned?  Yes… add an orange to the list.

More later.


We have begun the rabbit.

I’ve started with some olive oil and little salt pork for my frying base. I’ll remove the pork.


While browning and shedding its desired fat, it is time for the Old Fashioned.

First, a little powered sugar and a few shakes of bitters. Blend well. Always do this first.


Add your 2 oz of a good Bourbon with ice. I put in a lot of ice at first, and removed most when chilled.

Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry.


When you cook, CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.

When I work with meat, especially chicken and rabbit, I always scrub my tools and surfaces with soap and the hottest water I can bear on my hands… which is considerable.


I am now browning the rabbit in the fat.


Then in the same, the base of onion, carrot, celery until translucent.

I like to add pepper at this point.  Pepper changes in flavor when applied to high heat.


Back goes the rabbit and in goes the dry white wine.


Some herbs and the precious olives. I have here Calamata and cured black olives which have pits.

That’s rosemary, a bay leaf, and thyme.  I’ll take them out after a while.


Cover and let it stew!

Eventually, I will drain off some of the liquid and reduce it, apart, adjusting the seasoning.

More later.

UPDATE: 19 April

I have received emails about my preparation of rabbit ranging congratulations to dismay.

One reader, who not long ago sent me a set of CD’s of Georg Solti’s famous Ring recording’s, inspired by the coniglio video above, took the time to remind me of this and suggested that I listen to some Wagner while working on supper.


I am not sure if I like What’s Opera Doc? more than The Rabbit of Seville or not.  What a dilemma.

In any event, before somwon gets to eat the wabbit, somwom has to kill the wabbit. Wight?

And here Bugs, or Peter if you prefer, plated up with some fried potatoes and braised artichoke hearts.


I have enough for about two more servings.

That’s all folks!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Fr. Z's Kitchen, Lighter fare and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. M. K. says:

    What is the weight of that rabbit? It looks very small, but I’m sure it will taste great! [Dunno… pretty small.]

  2. Theodore says:

    When I was a starving (literally) grad student I used to eat the lab rats. Raised on Purina Rat Chow they were not gamey at all. They looked a lot like that when dressed out.

  3. pm125 says:

    Good news helps in many ways – like breathing and sleeping – oh, and appetite too – to bake with chocolate and walnuts soon – maybe Sat. Birthday 16th, Anniv. 19th, Reunion soon, certain Springcleaning soon, and all else.
    Er, was the rabbit pictured in a meat dept.? [Sure! A very, very large meat department.]

  4. Theodore: I used to eat the lab rats

    In the mighty Aubrey/Maturin books which I never tire of citing, the ship’s rats were often consumed when stores ran short. They were called “millers”, probably because they sometimes got into the flour.

    There is a truly funny scene in HMS Surprise when some hungry midshipmen got at the rats that Dr. Maturin had been feeding madder as a scientific experiment. Thus, Capt. Jack Aubrey is confronting poor Babbington about what happened and says to him:

    ‘You would have been living with a troubled stomach if you had known what was in ’em; the Doctor had -‘

    ‘I tell you what it is, Jack,’ said Stephen, walking quickly in. ‘Oh, I beg your pardon.’

    ‘No, stay, Doctor. Stay, if you please,’ cried Jack.

    Babbington looked wretchedly from one to the other, licked his lips and said, ‘I ate your rat, sir. I am very sorry, and I ask your pardon.’

    ‘Did you so?’ said Stephen mildly. ‘Well, I hope you enjoyed it. Listen, Jack, will you look at my list, now?’

    ‘He only ate it when it was dead,’ said Jack.

    ‘It would have been a strangely hasty, agitated meal, had he ate it before,’ said Stephen, looking attentively at his list.

    ‘Tell me, sir, did you happen to keep any of the bones?’

    ‘No, sir. I am very sorry, but we usually crunch ’em up, like larks. Some of the chaps said they looked uncommon dark, however.’

    ‘Poor fellows, poor fellows,’ said Stephen in a low, inward voice.

  5. Ralph says:


    Wild or domestic rabbit? Does it make a difference to the recipe?

    I LOVE it when you share your knowledge of cooking. It’s inspiring and educational.

  6. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, this would be a great opportunity for you to wear the “WDTPRS” kitchen apron . . . IF you had one. ;-) Please consider making one with all the usual sayings on it: “Save the Liturgy, Save the World”, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”, “Say the Black, Do the Red” and so on. PLEASE!

    Would you also please consider a Lex Orandi, Lex Credeni sticker and car magnet in the same design as your coffee mug?

  7. Kerry says:

    Oh boy! Lagomorphs at WDTPRS. Here’s a few of mine: http://smoothingplane.blogspot.com/2012/01/rabbit-photos.html. These are half Champagne d’Argent and half Silver Fox. Rabbits can be dressed out at from 8 to 12 weeks or so, depending on the breed. My dressed out crosses weigh about 1 1/2 pounds. The livers are delicious. We brown them in onion and olive oil and then bake at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes, to 165 degrees on the lagormorph thermometer. I hope to see yours Father Z. If anyone has rabbit questions…

  8. MikeD says:

    There were alternative cartoons to choose from. 8O)


  9. DisturbedMary says:

    Wabbit humor:
    Elmer Fudd: Got you, you wabbit stew, you.
    Bugs Bunny: Look, Doc. Are you looking for trouble? I’m not a stewing rabbit. I’m a fricasseeing rabbit.
    Elmer Fudd: Fwicasseeing wabbit?
    Bugs Bunny: Have you got a fricasseeing rabbit license?
    Elmer Fudd: Well, no. I…
    Bugs Bunny: Do you happen to know what the penalty is for shooting a fricasseeing rabbit without a fricasseeing rabbit license?

  10. Theodore says:

    Fr Z.

    My salad days were way before I became acquainted with the works of the late, lamented Patrick O’Brian, CBE. I can say that I never tried the bones though.

    Cheers and thanks for all you do.

  11. Rich0116 says:

    Ah, coniglio puts me in mind of the plate of pappardelle al coniglio I had in Bologna…it was 12 years ago but I can still taste it. [AH! Me too. Fantastic.]

    Also, it’s an honor to raise my glass, Old Fashioned just poured, to your health, Father. Cent’anni to you and to Pope Benedict as well! [Altrettanto a Lei.]


  12. Alan Aversa says:

    Wow, if Catholics party on a ferial day… haha [For good reason and I have had precious little feasting for a long while now.]

  13. Andrew says:

    Dicebant olim eos qui leporem comederint septem diebus pulchros fieri, ex quo venit in mentem Martialis sententia:

    Si quando leporem mittis mihi, Gellia, dicis:
    ‘Formosus septem, Marce, diebus eris.’
    Si non derides, si verum, lux mea, narras,
    Edisti numquam, Gellia, tu leporem.

  14. Andrew: A beautiful sentiment.

  15. Geoffrey says:

    Being Portuguese, I have a hard time imagining a rabbit dish being celebratory! Rabbit was always the “peasant food” of my family. My grandfather raised rabbits because it was a cheap meat that quickly multiplied! I am looking forward to seeing how yours turns out, Father!

  16. Lucas says:

    I’ve never made rabbit, but the local Amish market always has them. [You are fortunate.]

    As Geoffrey said, my father equates rabbit with southern Italian peasant food. He does say it can be very tasty though. [Rabbit is excellent.]

  17. PostCatholic says:

    One of my treasures is my late grandmother’s copy of Mastering the Art the of French Cookingwhich Julia Child (or as I always called her, Mrs. Child) inscribed (February 18, 1963, Cambridge, … [nice personal note] … Bon Appétit!) , and I flipped through it looking for Lapin au Saupiquet to see if that page was dirty from cooking… and it’s not even there! Must be the sequel Volume II, which is downstairs in the kitchen and I’m too lazy to check. I hope it doesn’t spoil your schadenfreude dinner, but my grandmother and Mr & Mrs Child became friendly as a result of their mutual ardent support to Planned Parenthood. [That’s too bad. I, quite frankly, hate learning about author’s and actor’s personal lives.]

    Flipping through this book, it’s cool that, from a splash of something landing on the page or a thumbprint, almost fifty years later I can tell that Nana took a stab at Suprémes de Vollaile à l’Écossaise and Veau Prince Orloff. I also wish I’d known Mrs Child beyond a pleasantry, too. Her autobiography My Life In France was a very interesting read.

    Anyway. Bon Appétit!

  18. Nicole says:

    I’ve got two coneys (as my dad calls them) in the freezer right now. A friend of mine gave them to me as a gift (yes, I’ve cleaned them :P ). The only way that I know of preparing them is to fry them like chicken. I hope yours turns out well, Fr. Z.

  19. Mike Morrow says:

    Are you sure it wasn’t a cat? [Yep.]

  20. I ate fried tamed rabbit once. I didn’t know what it was at first; thought it was chicken. It was so rich and tasted a lot better than chicken. My husband’s uncle raised the rabbits for eating. Wild rabbit, which I have eaten as well, has a totally different taste that I didn’t care for.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    I used to eat rabbit until I had a house pet rabbit who went in the cat box and slept outside my bedroom door as he was the Alpha Rabbit and warned us of anything weird.

    His name was Sooty Little Ears. I cannot eat rabbit now….like I could not eat cat.

  22. A.D. says:

    Be still my heart! All I could think is that you are cooking and eating THUMPER!

    P.S. The cookbook I inherited from my grandmother is so old that the recipe for rabbit starts out with instructions to “choose a rabbit with nice soft paws”. Ekkkkkkkkkk!

  23. AnnAsher says:

    Once when I was about 14 my Dad raised rabbits in the back yard. I grew up in Monterey, CA. We had a large and hidden back yard. Anyway, they were cute. One day, they were gone. As usual, I hadn’t caught on to their intended purpose.

  24. tianzhujiao says:

    “I like to add pepper at this point. Pepper changes in flavor when applied to high heat”
    Thank you for the cooking tip, Father. I was not aware of this.

  25. irishgirl says:

    What does rabbit taste like? Does it taste like chicken?
    I remember seeing in a old National Geographic magazine a photo of a live rabbit (for cooking) in an outdoor market in Malta. Cute critter it was: black and white.
    A. D.: ‘You’re cooking and eating THUMPER?’ My thoughts exactly!
    Anyhow, I hope your ‘cooked bunny rabbit’ comes out tasty, Father Z!

  26. Gregg the Obscure says:

    What a great preparation! Sadly my better half doesn’t care for eating bunny. Have you tried this with poultry or other meats? [Sure, chicken could be prepared this way.]

  27. Ray says:

    Father Z this sounds like a delightful recipe. While I am Italian, I’ve done the same with a German version, called Hasenpfeffer. [I remember the first time I ever had that! Great memory.] The best part of this is the Old Fashioned. This is my favorite drink while cooking. A little Angostura Bitters and Jim Beam along with your ingredients is exquisite. Enjoyed this one Father.

  28. PostCatholic says:

    I shall remember that preference. In fairness to me, this was also a part of Mrs. Child’s professional life and that is how she met my grandmother: she did a number of demonstration events as fundraisers for the organizations which she cared about. Also note that while my grandmother was a leader in Planned Parenthood, her enthusiasm isn’t hereditary.

  29. Texas trad says:

    Have mercy Father! I am vegan!

  30. Cantate says:

    I have never cooked nor eaten rabbit, and I never hope to do so. But I will try this recipe with chicken. Please tell me where I might buy “powered” sugar for the Old Fashioned. I am sure it is the most potent ingredient, surpassing even the good bourbon.

  31. PostCatholic says:

    Cantate: Any supermarket. It is also known as confectioners sugar or “10 X”. When I am making an old-fashioned or a sazerac, personally I prefer to use a sugar cube thoroughly soaked in bitters.

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