2 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/4 tsp gumbo filé
1 (2 to 3 pound) rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for pan frying
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
6 cups rabbit stock
Rice or mashed potatoes, for serving
In a small bowl thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the mix with the flour in a paper or plastic bag.
Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large heavy skillet to about 350°. Dredge the rabbit pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess (reserve left-over flour). Cook in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Do not crowd. (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain oil’s temperature at about 350°; if drippings start to burn, discard the oil and drippings and use fresh oil.) Drain rabbit on paper towels.
Combine the onions and celery in a small bowl and set aside.
Pour off all but 1/2 cup of the hot oil from the skillet, leaving as much sediment in the pan as possible. Return skillet to high heat and let remaining oil heat until it starts to smoke, about 2 minutes, scraping loose any sediment that may be stuck to the pan bottom. With a long-handled metal whisk, gradually whisk in the reserved flour until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux turns dark red-brown, about 2 to 3 minutes (be careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin). Immediately stir in the reserved vegetable mixture and remove from heat. Continue stirring (change to a wooden spoon if necessary) until the roux stops darkening in color, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
In a 5 1/2 quart saucepan or large Dutch oven, bring the stock to a boil. Add the roux to the stock by spoonfuls, whisking until roux dissolves between each addition. Stir in the remaining season mix. Add the rabbit to the pot and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until rabbit is tender and sauce is reduced to about 4 cups, about 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Smothered Rabbit Serve immediately over rice or with mashed potatoes, allowing 2 pieces of rabbit and a generous portion of sauce for each person.
Originally Posted on Madhatter’s Kitchen