Each step in this recipe adds a separate layer of flavor to the finished dish. Immersing the rabbit in a marinade tenderizes the meat and gives it an herbal tang. Browning it adds a deeper, caramelized edge, while the simmering infuses more flavors and blends the previous notes. The heavy cream gives it a velvety tone, and a small, final blast of fresh herb sings the high note.
For all its complexity, you can alter this significantly by making one tiny change: substitute chopped fresh tarragon for the rosemary. Itís like the difference between spring and fall.
3 generous tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup dry, full-flavored white wine (such as a chardonnay)
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 rabbit, cut into 5 pieces (about 3 pounds total)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Hot, cooked egg noodles
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Add rabbit pieces and turn them to coat them with the marinade. Cover and marinate the rabbit 3-4 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator. If possible, turn the pieces a couple of times during the time they marinate.
2. Remove rabbit from marinade; reserve marinade. Dry rabbit pieces well with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high flame. When oil is hot, brown the rabbit pieces 3-4 minutes per side (do this in batches to avoid crowding the skillet). Transfer rabbit pieces to a platter.
3. Add marinade to pan; bring to boil, scraping up all the flavorful bits from the bottom. Add chicken stock, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and let it cook for a few minutes. Return the rabbit to the pan (the pieces can be crowded now), cover tightly, reduce heat to very low and cook slowly 25-30 minutes.
4. Turn rabbit pieces over, cover pan again and continue to cook very slowly for another 35-50 minutes. Rabbit meat should be very tender, almost falling off the bones. Carefully transfer rabbit to a platter; cover and keep warm. Raise heat to high, add heavy cream and remaining rosemary; bring sauce to a boil. Stir it often as it boils and let it cook until it is reduce by about one-third. The sauce should be slightly thickened, but not thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return rabbit to the pan and heat through gently.
5. Serve rabbit and sauce over hot noodles.
Copyright by Terese Allen