Rabbit in a Wine and Garlic Sauce

Rabbit with red wine sauce

Stuart Minzey / Getty Images

  • Total: 4 hrs
  • Prep: 3 hrs
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Admittingly, rabbit is not a mainstream meat in the USA. For those of you new to this meat, or are willing to try this recipe as an introduction, you are probably wondering what rabbit tastes like.

Rabbit is much like chicken. However, it does carry a slightly gamey flavor. Some people say it also has a slightly sweet essence flavor to it as well. 

It is also worth noting that farmed raised rabbit will taste different than wild rabbit, which will have darker meat and carry a more gamey flavor. There are methods to reduce this flavor, so look online and you might be surprised at what some suggest.

Either way, give this recipe for kouneli me aspri saltsa (in Greek: κουνέλι με άσπρη σάλτσα, pronounced kou-NEH-lee meh AHS-pree SAHLT-sah) a try and introduce some new flavors into your kitchen. Think of cooking rabbit as a way to level up in the kitchen. It is a fun experience and one you will not forget.

This dish requires three hours of marinating before cooking. The tastes in this dish are remarkable, and since most of us don't cook rabbit on a daily basis, this is an excellent recipe that shows off the best of all tastes: rabbit, white wine, garlic, and fresh herbs. However, if you are interested in other flavors, try a hearty rabbit stew with vegetables.


  • 3 1/2 pound rabbit (skinned and gutted, cut into serving size pieces)
  • 2 inches of red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 12 to 15 cloves of garlic (cut in slivers lengthwise)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of rosemary (freshly washed)
  • 2 lemons (juice of)
  • 1/3 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of water

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the rabbit pieces in a pan and marinate in enough vinegar to cover half-way.

  2. Soak on one side for 1 1/2 hours, then turn and soak on the other side for 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Discard the vinegar.

  4. In a large skillet, sauté the marinated rabbit in hot oil until well-browned. Add the garlic, and when lightly browned, pour in the white wine.

  5. Transfer everything from the frying pan (including oil) to a stew pot with a tight-fitting lid, and heat to a boil, stir in salt, pepper, rosemary, and bay leaf.

  6. Stir in water slowly, trying not to break the boil.

  7. Cover tightly and simmer (lowest heat to maintain a very light boil) for 1 hour. 10 minutes before cooking is done, add the lemon juice and shake the pot gently to distribute.

  8. When cooking time is up, turn off the heat and leave the pot on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes.

Note: Do not uncover the pot during cooking, until time to add the lemon juice. Then cover again tightly.

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