Lapin a La Cocotte…French Rabbit Stew

Rabbit Stew (Lapin a La Cocotte), Rabbit Stew Recipe, French Rabbit Stew Recipe, Lapin a La Cocotte Recipe

Rabbit Stew (Lapin a La Cocotte)

The French love to use rabbit in dishes; since I love French cooking, this dish is one I have had on my list to make for a while now.  Rabbit can be difficult to find in stores, but I recently found some at the local market and quickly snapped it up.  The shocked look on the face of the checkout clerk was priceless!  I highly recommend giving this a try, rabbit is delicious!  Trust me!

The title of this post, Lapin a La Cocotte, is literally translated as The Rabbit Casserole.  It’s a simmered stew of rabbit meat in red wine and stock that makes the rabbit so tender and succulent.  The stewing juices form a perfectly delightful sauce (or gravy, as you may). It may sound fancy but, I assure you, this is a very simple dish. It’s like a deconstructed stew, or soup.

While the recipe I used suggested it be served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, I chose instead to make some beautiful baby potatoes in parsley butter.  Smashed with our forks on the plate and dabbed in the sauce, I’d only wished I’d made more than I had!

I’ve often said I don’t really follow recipes completely, and this is no exception, but I adapted the recipe I found at

Try this!  I suppose, if you’re squeamish about rabbit, you could do this with chicken…but you’ll be missing out on rich, robust, rabbit!


4.7 from 3 reviews
Lapin a La Cocotte...French Rabbit Stew
Lapin a La Cocotte...The Rabbit Casserole. French rabbit stew.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: French
  • 3 pounds rabbit, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat *
  • 1½ cups sliced onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a medium-sized Dutch oven or heavy flat-bottomed roasting pan, melt the bacon fat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic.
  3. Cook until translucent; remove from the pan.**
  4. Add the rabbit pieces and sauté over medium heat until rabbit is golden brown on each side.
  5. Sprinkle on the flour and continue to brown rabbit for another 5 minutes or so, then add the onions and garlic back in the pan along with the chicken stock, red wine, thyme, parsley and bay leaves.
  6. With a wooden spoon, stir the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits on the bottom.
  7. Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour, adding more stock if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste.
*I keep bacon drippings (Benton's Bacon drippings, as a matter of fact) in a jar in my refrigerator. If you don't, just cut up about 4 slices of thick cut bacon, brown them in your pan, remove the bacon (reserving it for future use) and use the rendered bacon fat from that.

**I am suggesting removing the onions and garlic from the pan because I thought they got a bit too browned when I browned the rabbit. Also, they got in the way! I'll be doing this step the next time.


Blurry browning rabbit…I’m still getting used to my new lens!

With the wine, stock and herbs added…

After simmering for a bit…just look at how brown and developed that sauce has become!

So pretty on the plate, but better from fork to mouth!


About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
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12 Responses to Lapin a La Cocotte…French Rabbit Stew

  1. Mark Brown says:

    This looks so good. Where did you find good rabbit? High St Market?

  2. Steve Brown says:

    Paula – what a delight! Thanks to Byron for putting this url in the LRO Fishing Report today; it’s a new facet of you I would never have known about. Think about all the LRO readers that can provide wild rabbit…

  3. Sarah says:

    This rabbit looks really good, I’m going to try it tonight!
    To avoid the browning of onions and garlic, I first fry the meat in fat (either olive oil if the stew is “mediterrannean style”, or duck fat/butter otherwise). Once the meat is brown on all sides, I remove it from the pan, and then I add onions/garlic. 🙂

    • P~ says:

      Thanks, Sarah, for your comment! I’d jut bet the duck fat would make this absolutely fantastic! I’m definitely going to try using some the next time I make this dish! P~

  4. Jen says:

    Just thought I’d post that I’ve made this recipe several times and LOVE it. I’ve served it to friends and family and it’s always a hit. Plus, it’s unusual enough to be memorable. Here’s a post of my last dinner party, driven by this recipe:

    Thank you!

  5. Leola says:

    This recipe was delicious!!! I got a free range naturally fed rabbit from a dear friend’s farm (Lime Kiln Farm, Coxsackie, NY). I wasn’t quite sure how to cook it so I looked for a healthy recipe online and found yours! I improvised on a few things – I didn’t have a white onion, but had a big shallot and some garlic scapes from my CSA (Ironwood Farm, Ghent, NY) so I used those instead. I tossed a bit of herb de Provence on the rabbit during the second browning. I didn’t have chicken broth so I used organic vegetable broth. I forgot to put the bay leaf in (darn) but it came out great anyway. I also added organic carrot and potatoes to the pot about 20 mins. into the simmer. My guest loved it. Yeah, thank you for the great recipe!

  6. dee says:

    Can I use a crockpot? I dont have a pot big enough for stove top and no Dutch oven

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