Food & Wine Pairing Recipe of the Week – Rustic Chickpea and Rabbit Stew

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This dish was made for Central Otago! Rabbit, Saffron, Olive Oil and Lemons all available in abundance (especially the darn Rabbits!). Rich and layered in flavours, this stew is so much more, rather a hot pot of hearty soul food. If you can’t source Rabbit for this dish it works just as well with Chicken or Pork.

Rustic Chickpea and Rabbit Stew

Rustic Chickpea and Rabbit Stew

Rustic Chickpea and Rabbit Stew












  • 350g boneless rabbit, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • large pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup (250g) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (15g) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 pinches of saffron threads
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) hot water
  • 1 tin chickpeas (about 400g), drained and rinsed
  • 250g new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves coarsely chopped
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange


Preparation: 20min

Cook: 1hour40min

Ready in: 2 hours

Serves: 4

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish, add the chunks of rabbit and sauté until browned on all sides. Add the onions, garlic and red capsicum and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the onions have softened. Add the paprika, chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves, stir well and fry for 1 minute.

Add the wine, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and half of the parsley. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the rabbit is very tender.

Meanwhile, crumble the saffron into a small bowl and add the hot water. Stir, then leave to soak for 15–20 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and potatoes to the stew, together with the saffron and its soaking water, the oregano and orange zest and juice. Stir, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the gravy has thickened and is not too soupy. Remove the bay leaves if you prefer. Serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining parsley.

Wine Pairing – 3 Acres Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012

Rabbit and Central Otago Pinot Noir are a match made in heaven. Our 2012 3 Acres Pinot Noir has a hint of spice and dried herbs which works harmoniously with the herbs in this dish. The spice brings out the Lemon element is this dish to leave a fresh zing in your pallet.