Rabbit in the Style of Prudhomme

  • Prep Time
    30 minutes
  • Cook Time
    2 hours
  • Serving
    2
  • View
    45

This recipe would be familiar to Cajuns as rabbit with a Sauce Piquant or Piquante.  In Cajun cuisine, Sauce Piquant is a spicy, tomato-based stew made with any type of meat. “Piquant” comes from the French for “to prick or sting.” The dish reminds me of late great PAUL PRUDHOMME’S amazing food.  Prudhomme was an amazing New Orleans chef who for a while ran the kitchen at Commander’s Palace before opening his own iconic restaurant in the French Quarter.  At its peak, people (and not just tourists) used to line up to eat at the communal tables at K-Paul’s named after Paul and his wife Kay who predeceased him.  I ate there countless times. I watched Paul on WYES for years, cooking and smiling and just being himself, optimistic and generous.  I bought and devoured all of his cookbooks, and was sad when he died in 2015.  Shortly before his death my friend Claire and I spotted him at Ruth’s Chris restaurant having dinner.  Claire approached him and told him thank you for his contributions.  Okay, I wouldn’t have done that… but the man was gracious and humble and kind, even to a total stranger who interrupted his meal.  He truly was a remarkable human being who went from the most inauspicious beginnings to New Orleans royalty.  This dish is big, bold and spicy.  I think Mr. Prudhomme would have approved my efforts.

Wikipedia notes: Paul Prudhomme (July 13, 1940 – October 8, 2015), also known as Gene Autry Prudhomme, was an American celebrity chef whose specialties were Creole and Cajun cuisines, which he was also credited with popularizing.  He was the chef proprietor of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, and had formerly owned and run several other restaurants. He developed several culinary products, including hot sauce and seasoning mixes, and wrote 11 cookbooks.

I became aware of Prudhomme when I first moved to New Orleans, and his layering of spices was a concept that may have come close to changing my life.  Since then, I’ve watched his television shows and read his cookbooks and absorbed a lot more from him about cooking delicious, deeply textured dishes with the most modest ingredients.  The Great Chef Prudhomme used to end his tv shows with a happy, “Good Cooking, Good Eating, Good Loving!”  Which really does say it all, doesn’t it?


Ingredients

Rabbit

    Directions

    Cut the rabbit into six parts, then lightly coat each piece in seasoned flour.

    Step 1

    In a big Le Crueset Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the rabbit pieces and saute until golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside on a platter.

    Step 2

    Dump the onion, bell pepper mixture including red bell pepper into the hot olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep it from scorching.

    Step 3

    Pour in the wine and let it deglaze the pan, then reduce a little.

    Step 4

    Then pour in the chicken stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a low boil once, then simmer.

    Step 5

    Add oregano leaves and roasted garlic.

    Step 6

    Put the rabbit back in the sauce. Put the lid on the pan, then put in the oven and cook at 325 degrees for about 2 hours or until the rabbit is very tender.

    Step 7

    In the last 15 minutes, stir in the black olives.

    Step 8

    Serve over rice or noodles.

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