First time cooking rabbit - help please
I don't bother rinsing it. My standard treatment is to cut into serving pieces, salt & pepper, brown in a reasonable amount of oil in a pan big enough to for the pieces to fit in one layer. Then I throw in some smashed garlic cloves for a minute or two, some rosemary sprigs, then probably about a half-cup of apple cider vinegar (don't have your face over the pan at this point, because an acidic vapor cloud will come at you). At that point I turn down the heat to low (barely simmering) for about an hour--with a cover on!-- turning the pieces at least once. You want to have just a little bit of pan sauce; if it's too liquidy boil it down a bit on high heat at the end.
I used to live in Jefferson City and I could buy fresh rabbit everyday. I'd often broil it and share with my beagle. He loved the smell from start to finish. As I got to be a world traveler - 47 countries and counting - I often ate rabbit in the Champagne region of France. One of the best was l'Assiette Champenoise - they served a braised rabbit with caramelized onions. - incredible. I'd often have it as room service so I could clean the plate completely and drink better champagnes than they offer in the restaurant.
There is also a Ischia rabbit - the small island off of Naples - here's something that might work for you.
I will be eating here in the next few weeks -
I'll let you know how it was and see if I can get the recipe. It's part of the slow cooking movement in Italy.
Here's an authentic coniglio all'Ischitana from Mario Batali