The onions sweeten and tenderise the rabbit meat in this farmhouse favourite from the Spanish islands, where there are plenty of rabbits for a hearty and sustainable meal.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 rabbit, chopped into 8 pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) onions, sliced
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) Cognac
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock, heated to a simmer
  • micro herbs, to garnish (optional)

Hand-cut chips

  • 4 all-purpose potatoes, cut into 2 cm (¾ in) thick chips
  • 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Lightly season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat, add the rabbit and quickly sear for 1–2 minutes on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium–low, add the remaining oil and the garlic to the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown. Add the bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, then add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 12–15 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the cloves, peppercorns and Cognac and stir through for a few minutes until the onion starts to take on a golden colour. Add the mustard and stock and return the rabbit to the pan. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 40–50 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the onion and rabbit are the same colour.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the chips, heat the oil in a large saucepan to 170°C (340°F) on a kitchen thermometer. Add the chips and fry, turning frequently, for 8–10 minutes, until just beginning to colour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chips to a plate lined with paper towel and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool down. Increase the oil temperature to 180°C (350°F) and fry the chips for a further 4–6 minutes, until light golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with clean paper towel to soak up any excess oil, then sprinkle with salt.
  4. Scatter a few micro herbs over the rabbit and onion, if you like, and serve with the chips on the side.


Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99