Rabbit Pot de Provence
Ariane Daguin | Yield: 4
This richly perfumed rabbit stew combines the flavors of southern France--sweet peppers, fennel, tomatoes and black olives in an aromatic anise-flavored broth.
- 1 Whole Rabbit, about 3 lbs, cut into 6 to 8 pieces and blotted dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bulb of fennel, trimmed and cut into strips, fronds reserved
- 1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- 1/2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1/2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
- 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- Zest of one orange, in long strips
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup anise-flavored liqueur
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup imported black olives, pitted
- 2 tablespoons reserved fennel fronds, minced, plus fennel fronds, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy casserole over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the rabbit pieces and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, then remove to a platter and season with salt and pepper. Do not crowd the pan. If necessary, sauté rabbit in batches.
- Add the fennel, onion and peppers to the casserole and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion is lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the orange zest, stock, Pernod and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
- Return rabbit to the casserole, cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Cook until the rabbit is almost tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the olives and minced fennel fronds, season with salt and pepper and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- Prepare Saffron-Scented Couscous: Combine boiling water and saffron in a small saucepan and let stand until saffron is softened. Add stock, olive oil and salt, and bring the liquid just to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover pan, turn off heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, fluff with a fork and serve.
- Serve each plate with a mound of couscous topped by the rabbit and some sauce, and garnish with small fennel fronds. Serve with couscous.