“Most Americans don’t realize that a pound of rabbit meat only has about 800 calories. Additionally, it contains less fat and only about half of the cholesterol of some more commonly used proteins like chicken and pork. Rabbits are one of the most productive domestic livestock animals available. Given the same amount of feed and water, a rabbit can produce roughly six pounds of meat whereas a cow will only produce one pound.” – Chef Anthony Gray of Bacon Bros. Public House in Greenville
Season your rabbit generously with salt and pepper and allow to sit refrigerated for 24 hours. If you don’t have that time just let sit for an hour while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large pot add the rabbit and cover with cold water, bring the water to a simmer, skimming any unwanted foam and fat from the top. At this time add two cups of onions, ½ cup of leeks, two cups celery, the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Cover and allow to simmer for an hour or so until the rabbit is very tender.
Carefully remove the rabbit and allow to cool so that you can pick the meat from the bones. Strain the cooking liquid (keeping warm), reserving it and throwing out the solids.
In another heavy bottom pot add the butter and allow to melt. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and stir it in for five to eight minutes. Cook on medium-low.
Add the remaining vegetables and cook for 10 minutes or so until they become tender. At this point add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
Slowly add the reserved broth and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the broth has slightly thickened, seasoning with salt and pepper and hot sauce. Taste the seasoning then add the picked rabbit meat.
Add the dumplings and cook for another 20 minutes. Finish with chopped parsley, chives, and tarragon
Mix flour and salt together in bowl.
Cut butter into flour mixture with fingertips until it resembles small peas.
Add buttermilk, 1/4 cup at a time, and stir until a ball of dough just begins to form, being careful not to over-mix.
Roll out the dough onto floured surface, about ¼ inch thick sharp knife. Cut dough into rectangles or squares.
Place the dumplings on a floured pan, dividing layers with parchment paper.
Let the dumplings rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before adding to the stew.