Season the rabbit, coat with flour and shake to get rid of the excess. Heat the olive in a wide pot over medium heat and sauté the rabbit for roughly 3-4 minutes until it is brown on all sides. Then place it on a platter. Add the onion, garlic, celeriac, carrots, bay leaves, juniper berries, salt, pepper and the thyme and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the onions turn transparent.
Add the wine and wait for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol evaporates. Then place the rabbit back in the pot and enough water to almost cover the ingredients. Reduce the heat and slowly cook for about 40 minutes until the rabbit is tender.
Add the chestnuts and the carob honey, stir gently and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the aromas and tastes blend. Take the pot off the stove and place the rabbit pieces and the vegetables on a platter. If there is enough broth left in the pot, reduce it on a high heat for 3-4 minutes until it thickens. Pour the sauce on to the rabbit and vegetables and serve with white rice.
* Originally published in Gastronomos Magazine, Dec 15 Issue.
- 1 large rabbit, weighing roughly 1.2-1.4 kilos, cut into 6-8 pieces
- About 50 gr of all-purpose flour (to coat the rabbit)
- 1 small celeriac, cleaned and cut into 1-2 cm cubes
- 2 medium carrots, cleaned and cut into 1-2 cm cubes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons of crushed dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of well-crushed juniper berries (found in spice shops and supermarkets)
- 500 ml of dry red wine
- 50 ml of carob honey (syrup made from carob which can be found in specialist Cretan food shops)
- 20 chestnuts boiled and cleaned. Keep some of them whole for serving. You can purchase the chestnuts ready-boiled and cleaned from supermarkets.
- 40 ml olive oil
- Salt, freshly ground pepper