Photography by Brian Ziegler.

The beauty of stew is the aroma and the way the dish changes from stage to stage. I will never forget the smell of stews in my house as a child, and Hemingway does an incredible job of capturing this. He shows the power of food. The main character is completely transfixed with Maria. The only thing that can snap him out of his daze is when the stew comes and the aromas fill the room. The prose is exceptional and transports me to a different time, smelling the red wine and rabbits.

This stew is fairly simple to make, however, you always have to take care not to cook the rabbit too long. Rabbit is a lean meat thus cannot be cooked too hard or too long. I’ve kept the loin on the bone to keep it as juicy as possible. I add the beans towards the end because they are already cooked but this allows them to soak up the flavour of the stew. I add the olives last so that it does add flavour yet it doesn’t add too much brine to the stew.


Servings 6
Author Eric


  • 2 whole rabbits
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 150 g dried chickpeas soaked in water 2 days previous to cooking
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 carrot peeled
  • 2 stocks celery peeled
  • 200 g chicken bouillion
  • 200 g chickpea cooking liquid
  • 200 g pitted green olives
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 10 g coriander seeds
  • 10 g black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 head garlic split



  1. Remove soaked beans from water
  2. Place in heavy bottom pot and cover at least 2 inches above beans with water
  3. Add 1 half head of garlic, 1 onion cut in half, 1 carrot cut in half, celery, 1 bay leaf and 3 sprigs thyme

  4. Cook slowly for hours, the liquid should be creating steam but not boiling, if you cook too fast all the beans will break
  5. When tender remove from heat, season cooking liquid with salt and reserve in liquid


  1. Remove the head from the rabbits and discard
  2. Remove the shoulders and legs, next separate the rack from the loins
  3. Cut the racks into 2 pieces and the loin into three
  4. Lightly season with salt
  5. Lightly brown rabbit pieces in a neutral oil
  6. Remove pieces from pan and discard oil
  7. Cut onions into large dice and deglaze the pan by lightly roasting them add a pinch of salt to help bring the moisture out of the onion
  8. But green peppers into large dice and 4 minutes add the green peppers to the pot
  9. Once veg is tender return rabbit to the pot and add wine
  10. Reduce wine by half and add chicken bouillion, chickpea cuisine, and all aromatics
  11. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook 30 mins
  12. Add chickpeas and cook an additional 10 mins, add olives and cook additional 10 mins
  13. Rabbit should be tender, if not cook 10 more mins
  14. If tender remove veg, olives, chickpeas, and rabbit and reduce sauce to a thick consistency
  15. Strain the sauce and toss rabbit and veg back into the sauce.
  16. Serve with bread