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Whole Stuffed Ontario Rabbit

Ontario rabbit is complemented with a white wine and sage stuffing featuring hints of sautéed leeks, rosemary and thyme. Wrap it in Ontario bacon before roasting to keep the meat tender and juicy.

 6 sliced Ontario bacon, divided
 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
 2 cups (500 mL) chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped sage
 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh chopped rosemary
 1 tbsp (15 mL)fresh chopped thyme
 1 tsp (5 mL) each, salt and fresh cracked pepper
 4 cups (1 L) cubed bread
 ½ cup (125 mL) white wine
 ½ cup (125 mL) chicken broth
 ¼ cup (50 mL) fresh chopped parsley
 1 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 lb (1.25 to 1.75 kg) Ontario rabbit, cleaned

Chop and cook 3 strips of bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Add butter, leeks, celery, sage, rosemary, thyme and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each of salt and pepper; cook stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until softened.


In large bowl, toss vegetable and bacon mixture with bread. Drizzle with wine and broth and toss with parsley to combine. Let cool completely.


Stuff cavity with stuffing and wrap remaining strips of bacon around the rabbit to hold it closed. Place stuffed side down on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.


Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven until cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes or until rabbit registers an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).


Cut into portions and serve with stuffing on the side.

Cook's Notes:

Makes 4 to 6 servings