braised rabbit in creamy leek and bourbon sauce

NOT rabbit in creamy leek and bourbon sauce

Ok, the title is misleading.  This recipe uses chicken.  But there is a couple of reasons why I say it’s rabbit.  Just continue reading.

I’m rabbit sitting for a friend right now.  I’ve never taken care of rabbits, nor do I know the first thing about rabbit care, but my friend went to Hawai’i and I was getting a hankering for some macadamia nuts.  So in an effort to be selfish, I decided to help her out with the critter watching to hopefully get a nice gift from Hawai’i.  Hopefully.

My friend’s rabbits are huge.  Well, one of them.  I’m talking like a couple of pounds.  It’s pretty hefty.  I thought it was cute at first, until I realized how much poop I was cleaning up.  They’re like giant furry allergy inducing poopers.  So, it’s only natural that when I stare at these cute little creatures that I think of a delicious rabbit dish I had when I was growing up.  Mmm…

Yes, I had rabbit growing up.  No, my parents didn’t cook it and it is not a common protein in Taiwanese cuisine.  But I was lucky enough to enjoy it on a few of my birthdays growing up.  My birthday is dead in the summer.  And If other folks were cursed as I was to have a middle summer birthday, they would understand how hard it is to have a birthday party.  I grew up in a pretty well to do suburban neighborhood.  This meant that most of my classmates where on some long vacation or summer camp while I was looking for someone to play with.  So, I found my own way to entertain myself.  While kids where on beaches, in theme parks, or camping – I was on my roller blades with toilet paper in my wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads, and helmet while listening to the Lion King tape on my walkman and roller bladed in circles pretending to be a bird in the Disneyland parade.  I think my parents felt sorry for me, so they always took me out to my birthday.  Or maybe they were scared how I would turn out after seeing me in our cul-de-sac.

So for my birthday they would take me to a classic American restaurant called Mr. Stox.  They where super classic American.  You walk in and you would feel like you walked into Burt Reynolds’ lounge in the late 70’s.  Even the menu was pretty 1970’s Americana.  On it was a rabbit dish made with leeks, peppercorn, and cream.  I got it every time I went,  mainly because I was 8 and wanted to tell people that I ate rabbit.  But, I also really liked the flavors.  Everything about it felt American to me.  The cream, leeks, peppercorn, and what I now know as a familiar taste, bourbon.  They don’t have it on the menu anymore (I checked online) so I tried to recreate.  I think I finally figured out the taste.  The bourbon makes it smoky, which marries well with the leeks and pepper.  Enjoy.  You can probably use rabbit, but I don’t want my friend to hate me.


1 whole chicken, broken down

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 large leek, sliced

1 medium shallot, minced

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

4 tsp bourbon, (i.e. Maker’s Mark)

1 tbs butter


sear chicken pieces in a large dutch oven on high heat  with the vegetable oil

remove chicken when browned and place aside

sauté shallots and leek in the dutch oven until slightly brown

add heavy cream, chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir

simmer for about 10 minutes on medium high uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken

turn off heat and add bourbon and butter and bring heat back to medium (to prevent catching on fire)

return chicken to the dutch oven and simmer covered on medium until chicken is fully cooked (about 30 minutes)

-serves 6-8-


1 Response to “braised rabbit in creamy leek and bourbon sauce”

  1. 1 Tes
    June 8, 2010 at 2:14 am

    It looks really yummy. I love this recipe. I can’t wait to try it for dinner.

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