Rabbit – two ways

Coniglio fritto, confit leg, rocket & walnut pesto, girolles, roast tomatoes and balsamic baby onions

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It has been a while since my last post due to a constant stream of university work and ever shorter days, so I finally managed to put a dish together over the holidays and get some photos just before the light went. This will be the third post out of the last four which uses rabbit as a principal ingredient, reflecting my love for its tasty and versatile meat.

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Instead of roasting or braising the saddle, I recalled a dish I had made with an Italian friend whilst living in Spain. Coniglio Fritto sounds a lot better than fried rabbit, but essentially that is all it is. The meat doesn’t dry out as so often can happen with roasting farmed rabbit and retains a wonderful texture enveloped in a crisp exterior. But laying down a couple of fried fillets didn’t really fit in with the rest of the dish so I wrapped them in Serrano which added a salty element to work with the sweet onions and tomatoes.

The Pesto adds an underlying nuttiness and ‘earthiness’ to the dish, along with the girolles, which again made for some great flavour pairings. I made the pesto following the fantastic recipe for traditional pesto on Tales of Ambrosia, adjusting the quantities only slightly so it was less liquid.

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If anyone takes just one thing from this dish it should be trying rabbit cooked this way, eaten with some aioli or some pesto, I defy anybody to not be going back for more.

Serves 2

CONIGLIO FRITTO

saddle of rabbit, carefully cut from bone

flour, for dusting

1 egg, beaten

breadcrumbs for coating

oil for deep frying

Heat the oil to 180C

Roll the saddles in the flour, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. When fully coated, carefully place in the hot oil and cook turning when the underside has browned. After around 4-5 minutes, or when golden brown all over, remove and leave to rest on paper towel.

CONFIT RABBIT LEG

front and hind legs from 1 rabbit

salt & pepper

duck fat, pork fat or sunflower oil

Preheat oven to 130C

The night before, season the legs with salt and pepper and leave covered in the fridge. The next day, rinse off the seasoning and pat dry. Place in a ovenproof pan and cover with your choice of fat. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes on the hob before covering with foil and cooking in the oven for 4 hours.

ROCKET & WALNUT PESTO

See recipe here, changing pine nuts for lightly toasted walnuts. (I made a larger batch to keep some in the fridge for another time)

GIROLLES

handful of girolles or similar wild mushroom, lightly rinsed

knob of butter

salt

         Heat the butter in a frying pan and when hot, sauté the mushrooms for a couple of minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the heat until ready to serve.

ROASTED TOMATOES

cherry tomatoes on the vine

olive oil

salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 180c

In a small roasting tray, move drizzle with some quality oil and season well. Roast for 15 minutes or until skins are starting to split.

BALSAMIC BABY ONIONS

10 baby onions  such as cipollini, peeled

olive oil

salt & pepper

20ml balsamic vinegar

100ml chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter

         In a bowl season the peeled onions and stir with a couple of tablespoons of oil. Meanwhile heat a heavy-based sauté pan or skillet on \ medium-high heat, and add a tablespoon more of oil to this. Add the onions and brown for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the vinegar and stock, then cover. After 20 minutes, uncover, increase heat to high and add the butter, shaking pan and glazing she onions for 2 minutes.

TO SERVE

Spread a tablespoon of the pesto onto the plate. Wrap the fried saddles in Serrano ham, cut off the ends and plate.

Heat some oil until smoking in a frying pan and quickly but carefully brown both sides of the confited legs. Split the hind legs if large, before plating.

Arrange the vegetables and serve.

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4 comments

  1. Wow, delicious, love your plating! I’m salivating! Feel free to check out my #food #blog: http://www.jamesforrestfood.wordpress.com

    1. Hi James, thanks a lot. Checked it, liked it, followed it. Keep it up!

  2. Hi!!! Sorry I am replying way too late but with my baby and work I have not been able to post on my blog and see other people’s blogs!! Thanks for the mention!! I am so glad my recipe was useful!! The recipe and the pics look wonderful!!!!

  3. Reblogged this on CARMEN.

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