I popped into the butchers this weekend with a firm list of what I wanted to buy. However, I spotted some meat tucked away behind the chicken, and realised it was rabbit. I’ve eaten rabbit before in restaurants and always really enjoyed it, but I’ve never cooked it or even attempted to butcher one. I couldn’t resist, so I bought one and took it away to look at recipe ideas.
As I have no experience with butchering it, I thought that the easiest idea would be to braise it as Italians do, using some Gavi (a popular Italian white wine) and adding in some cannellini beans.
I chose to serve the dish with traditionally Italian sides – creamy polenta and roasted fennel. Roasted fennel is incredibly easy – heat the oven to approx 180ºc, cut a fennel bulb into wedges, drizzle over olive oil, season to taste and throw in a lemon sliced in half. Leave in the oven for 20 mins.
1 x whole rabbit, diced (include larger bones as often a lot of the “trickier” meat to butcher falls off after braising – plus, it helps to add a bit of extra flavour!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 x onion, chopped
1 x leek, sliced
2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 x red chilli, finely chopped (i chose to keep the seeds to add a little kick!)
small handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 x artichokes, sliced
1 x lemon, zest and juice
300ml italian white wine (gavi works really well, but so would soave or an italian sauvignon blanc)
400ml chicken stock
- heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. add the onion and soften.
- once the onion is soft and not browned, add the diced rabbit and seal until golden brown.
- next, add in the garlic, chilli and rosemary and mix well. leave to cook for 1-2 minutes. then, add in the artichokes and lemon zest.
- add the wine to the pan and leave to reduce. this should reduce in volume by about half.
- add the chicken stock and lemon juice, cover, and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.