We're in Paris!
I was really looking forward to things like rabbit being commonplace and not too expensive, but tonight's dish was probably the same as it would have cost back in California, and my fellow shoppers looked on with undisguised horror as my butcher hacked the rabbit into pieces. I'll have to do some rabbit shopping around. The past few days we've done a lot of cooking in our new kitchen-- dorade with a wine pan sauce, steaks, minestrone soup (which you'll probably see posted soon). It's small but very well equipped. The only real drawback is the electric stove, which will take some getting used to. In this recipe, I really missed my gas stove when trying to gently render the fat on the bacon, then sear the rabbit on high heat but without burning. It worked-- I just have to get the hang of it. We've also had plenty of non-cooked meals, involving copious amounts of cheese, pates, stuffed petits pains, and, our first night, rotisserie chicken. Expect some tasty things in the future, probably involving lamb.
You'll need (serves 4):
1 rabbit, cut into 6 pieces (mine weighed about 4lbs, or almost 2kg)
1 thick slice of bacon, cut into lardons
2c chicken stock
2 onions, sliced
2 heads of fennel, cored & cut into eighths
3 leeks, sliced
Half a head of garlic, crushed
1t fennel seeds
1/2t dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ bottle of white wine
A shot of Ricard
Preheat oven to 325F (160C).
Bring the chicken stock to the boil with any trimmings from the rabbit (head, ribs, kidneys, etc).
In an oven-proof saucepan, brown the lardons and set aside; in the bacon fat brown the rabbit and set aside.
Saute onion and leeks in the same saucepan. Add garlic and fennel seeds and stir until fragrant. Add the white wine and reduce by half.Return rabbit and bacon to pan. Add thyme, bay leaf and fennel. Add pastis and bring to a simmer. Add strained stock to cover rabbit. Cover pot and cook in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender.
We served this with mushroom wheat pilaf and caramelized endives; for those of you who can get endives cheaply, they're absolutely delicious seared and then braised with a bit of water. And they count as a vegetable! Yay.