Monday, 12 March 2012

L'agile Lapin, I'd Order That at a Fancy French Bistro.

Is there ever a better time than now to enjoy the delicacy of fresh, lean rabbit, braised with a quality Chianti and seasonal asparagus?  I can only add that being in the company of great friends and family makes this simple dish all that much better and it really couldn't be easier to prepare.
 
Here is what you will need:
  • 1 fresh rabbit cut into 6 pieces;
  • 1 cup of each 1/4 inch diced carrot, celery, cremini mushroom and yellow onion;
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced;
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour;
  • 1  handful of fresh thyme and rosemary;
  • Olive oil;
  •  Salt and fresh ground pepper;
  •  1 bottle (750ml) good quality Chianti. 
Here's the Process:
  • Transfer the flour to a Ziplock bag, add about 3 tbsp's each of salt and pepper;
  • Coat the rabbit with the flour mixture;
  • In a large non-stick frying pan add olive oil and brown the rabbit 3 pieces at a time on all sides;
  • Transfer the pieces into a Dutch oven and cover with the vegetables, garlic, fresh herbs, a dash of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper;
  • Pour the whole bottle of wine onto the rabbit and vegetables, if it does not cover completely just add a bit of water to cover;
  • On your stove top bring to a strong simmer;
  • Cover with tight fitting lid and place in a preheated oven at 350 f.
  • Cook for 60-90 minutes or until fork tender;
  • Remove rabbit when done transfer to serving platter and cover with aluminum foil and rest for 15-20 mins.
The Jus, or rabbit Chianti sauce:
  • Strain the jus from the Dutch oven, discard vegetables;
  • Place the residual stock into a saucepan;
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, taste for seasoning and adjust.  Add 1 fresh bay leaf;
  • Reduce to about 1/4 of volume;
  • Whisk in 4 tbsp's of unsalted butter;
  • Strain through fine strainer into serving vessel.
The Greens:
  • Fresh asparagus, cut off the tough bottoms and marinate in olive oil, dry oregano, salt and chili pepper;
  • Grill on BBQ until cooked to your liking;
  • Transfer to serving plate and add freshly grated Romano over top.
There you have it, a simple yet elegant meal that is inspired by spring and the joy that comes with making, eating and sharing great simple meals.  Oh, and don't forget at least one extra bottle of that Chianti to join you as you indulge in this great dish.

Let me know what you think? Enjoy.
 

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