Rabbit In Chile Sauce: Conejo En Adobo

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican Kitchen

The rabbit that I recently bought in the Cholula market, weighing in at a hefty 3 ¾ pounds, was perfect for this recipe, since it calls for the meat to be cooked and marinated before being combined with the sauce. If purchasing a whole rabbit, have the butcher cut it up, or do it yourself, into six or eight pieces: two breast halves, two leg-and-thigh pieces, and the saddle (back and sides) into either two or four pieces.


For the rabbit:

  • 1 3- 3 ¾ pound rabbit, cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 ½ heads of garlic
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the adobo:

  • 8 guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 8 ancho chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered


Place the rabbit, onion, 1 head of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise, and the bay leaves in a stockpot with water to cover and salt to taste. Cook until tender, about 1 ½ hours, remove the rabbit pieces from the pot and reserve the stock.

Blot the rabbit pieces dry with paper towels, place them in a non-reactive bowl with the vinegar, the other ½ head of garlic, peeled and crushed, and ½ teaspoon of salt. The vinegar, crushed garlic and salt will form a paste that coats the rabbit pieces. Set the rabbit aside to marinate in the paste for 20-30 minutes while the adobo sauce is being prepared.

Toast the chiles on a dry comal, griddle or pan just until they begin to give off their fragrance. Do not allow them to burn or char. Soak the dried chiles in hot water until softened. Place the chiles and remaining adobo ingredients in a blender with enough of the chile soaking water to move the blades, and puree. Strain the puree through a food mill or mesh strainer.

Place the adobo and 2 cups of the reserved rabbit stock in a large pot and cook for 15-20 minutes. Brown the rabbit pieces in vegetable oil and add them to the adobo sauce. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes to make a fairly thick sauce.

Serve with white rice and corn tortillas. Either zucchini or chayote is a good vegetable with this. Serves 6.

Published or Updated on: December 1, 2005 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008

Share This:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *