1 3-lb rabbit, cut with a cleaver through bones into 2-inch pieces
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1 10-ounce package frozen corn
1 10-ounce package frozen lima beans
Pat rabbit dry and sprinkle evenly with salt and black pepper.
Whisk together flour and cayenne in a shallow bowl. Dredge dredge rabbit in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wide 6- to 7-quart heavy (preferably cast-iron) pot over medium heat until it shimmers but doesn’t smoke. Brown half of rabbit, turning once, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 Tbsp oil to pot and brown remaining rabbit; transfer to plate.
Add remaining Tbsp oil to pot along with onion, celery, garlic, and a large pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp) and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
Add bay leaf, broth, tomatoes with juice, and rabbit with any meat juices from plate and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, 50 minutes.
Stir in corn and lima beans, then simmer, uncovered, until stew is slightly thickened and vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.