Hasenfeffer (Sour Rabbit Stew)

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups red wine vinegar
3 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
8 whole cloves
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 stalks celery, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (2 1/2 pound) rabbit, cleaned and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

In a large pot, combine the water, white sugar, whole cloves, onion, celery, lemon, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, pickling spice and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn off and allow to cool. Place the rabbit pieces into the mixture to marinate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread flour out onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flour is a light brown color.

Remove the rabbit from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade, and discard the solids. Reserve the liquid for later.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat the chicken with the toasted flour. Place into the hot oil, and cook until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan, and set aside. If there is oil left in the pan, sprinkle enough of the toasted flour over it to absorb the liquid.

In a jar with a lid, mix 1/2 cup of the marinade with 1/4 cup of the remaining toasted flour. Close the lid, and shake vigorously until well blended with no lumps. Heat the pan with the rabbit drippings over low heat. Gradually stir in the marinade mixture, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

Return the rabbit pieces to the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, or until the meat is falling off of the bones. You may remove the bones prior to serving if desired.