Recipes for Rabbit Fricasse and Raspberry Fool | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
The rabbit reminded the author of chicken, but more flavorful and tender. (Courtesy Amy Arden)

Recipes for Rabbit Fricasse and Raspberry Fool

Learn how to make two dishes from 17th century English cookbooks

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Rabbit Fricassee
Adapted from Elizabeth Fowler’s recipe, c. 1684.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T. butter
1 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
Freshly ground salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon of each, or to taste)
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ lbs. boneless rabbit loin, divided into fillets (chicken thighs may be substituted)

1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Season the rabbit meat with salt and pepper and place it in the skillet. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped parsley. Allow to brown lightly on both sides, about 6-7 minutes.

2. Remove the meat and set aside in a warm place. Add the chopped onion and a little of the chicken broth to the skillet and cook until the onion is tender, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remainder of 1 cup of chicken broth.

3. Return the meat to the skillet. Sprinkle the fillets with the remaining chopped herbs. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat until simmering. Cook uncovered, turning occasionally, until tender, approximately 15 minutes. You may wish to add additional broth to ensure there is adequate liquid in the skillet.

4. Serve immediately. Reserve pan juices and pass with the meat.

Raspberry Fool
Adapted from Sarah Longe’s recipe, c. 1610.

Ingredients:
2 c. raspberries
1 pint heavy cream
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. rosewater
1 T. vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
Extra raspberries or fresh strawberries to garnish (optional)

1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender until smooth.

2. Pour the cream and sugar into a mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form. Add the nutmeg, vanilla sugar (or extract) and rosewater. Stir gently.

3. Pour the raspberry puree into the whipped cream and stir gently until combined.

4. Pour into a glass bowl or 4 individual parfait glasses. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

5. Immediately before serving, add fresh berries to garnish.

Note: The original recipe called for green gooseberries. While green or red gooseberries may be used, they are in season only during the summer months and can be expensive to purchase outside of that period. They will need to be stewed in boiling water for 5 minutes before being pureed.

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