Mark Peel | Yield: 8
Mark Peel credits the movie "Bambi" for giving rabbit a bad name in America. He thinks it tastes like chicken, only with more flavor, especially when served in this aromatic broth. We agree!
- 2 Whole Rabbit Fryers, about 2 1/2 lbs each, cut in 8 pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons mixed fresh thyme and rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1/2 carrot, diced
- 1/2 stalk celery, diced
- 1/3 cup leek leaves, light green part only, washed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut in large dice
- 1/2 pound Chanterelle Mushrooms, washed and pulled apart by hand into thick pieces
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut in chunks
- Wide noodles, for serving
- The day before you wish to serve, marinate the rabbit. Toss the rabbit pieces in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the thyme and rosemary, and the chopped parsley. Cover, or seal in a ziplock plastic bag, and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Place the organs in a small container and cover with milk. Cover and refrigerate.
- Meanwhile, make the broth. Cut the tailbone, rib cage, and neck into smaller pieces. Combine with the diced onion, carrot, celery, and leek leaves in a medium saucepan. Add the canola oil and place over medium-low heat to brown gently. Stir from time to time, and when the meat and vegetables are lightly browned, after about 10 minutes, add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add the garlic cloves, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and boil until the wine has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the stock or broth and the water and bring to a simmer. Simmer partially covered over low heat for 1 hour. Strain through a fine strainer set over a bowl, pressing the ingredients against the strainer to extract all of the savory juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to cook, lift off any fat that has formed on the top. Bring back to a simmer, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Lightly dust with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a wide, lidded skillet or casserole over medium-high heat and brown the rabbit pieces, in batches, until light brown on all sides, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the rabbit pieces to a plate. Once the pieces are browned, add the smaller boneless flaps of rabbit meat and brown on both sides, then remove to the plate. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms are slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, and stir in the tomatoes and garlic. Return the rabbit to the pan, placing the pieces on top of the mushroom mixture. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven. Braise for 1 hour, until the rabbit is very tender, almost falling off the bone.
- Remove the rabbit pieces from the broth and arrange on a serving dish or deep platter. Remove the flat boneless pieces and cut into slivers. Return them to the broth. Bring to a simmer and reduce by about one-fourth.
- Meanwhile, cook the liver, kidneys, and heart. Heat the canola oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Remove the organs from the milk, pat dry, and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until browned on all sides and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the rabbit. Cut the liver, heart, and kidneys into quarters and scatter over the top. Garnish with parsley if desired, and serve with Spaetzle or wide noodles.