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Pan Roasted Rabbit Recipe

Learn how to pan roast a rabbit and serve with a nice ratatouille
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3

Ingredients

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup Craisins
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate syrup
  • 1/4 cup Port wine sauce + 2 TBL for deglazing
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

For the Rabbit

  • 1 fryer rabbit processed and internal organs removed
  • Flour seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, a chicken dry rub and a little garam masala.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the Ratatouille

  • 1 small onion chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 carrot chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 small piece of ginger minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Cognac - just a little
  • 1 Fuji apple cored and cut up into bite sized pieces
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme de-stemmed and minced finely
  • butter and oil to saute with
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start by combining the Craisins, pomegranate syrup and port wine and let them marinate until ready to make the sauce.

Prepping the Rabbit

  • Using my biggest and heaviest knife and wishing I owned a meat cleaver, I started by cutting the two back legs (thigh and leg) off, then the top third of the rabbit consisting of the front legs and chest cavity which left me with the middle section, also called the saddle.
  • I then split the chest cavity in half and cut the saddle into two pieces. This gave me a total of 6 pieces, just enough for two hungry people with no leftovers.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Next, I dredged each piece in the seasoned flour making sure to shake off any excess flour. You don't want clumps of flour on the meat. It should be a light, thin coating.
  • While I was cutting up the rabbit, I heated up a saute pan big enough to hold three of the pieces but could have used a larger pan to hold all the pieces.
  • When the pan was hot, I added the oil and sauteed the rabbit pieces until they were golden brown. I removed them to a baker's half sheet pan (Jelly Roll Pan) with a rack in so the rabbit would not touch the bottom of the pan. (You can use a roaster broiler pan too)
  • I then did the same with the remaining three pieces of rabbit.
  • I put the rabbit pieces into the preheated oven and roasted for about 30 minutes until the internal temperature was about 140 to 145°F.
  • Remember, the meat will continue to cook while it is resting, and the internal temperature will reach the desired temperature of about 150°F.
  • If you like your meat medium-rare, you will want just a hint of pink. If you like it medium, there should be no pinkness.

Making the Ratatouille

  • While I was working on the rabbit, David was prepping and preparing the vegetables.
  • After he cut up the veggies and supervised my youngest daughter stripping the thyme off the stems and peeling the ginger, he starting by sautéing the onion, carrot and celery in some butter and oil.
  • He then added the bacon and let them all cook together.
  • Next he added the ginger, garlic, cognac, apple and fresh thyme and continued cooking until the vegetables were crisp-tender and most of the cognac had cooked off. (You don't want to over cook the veggies).
  • Of course, David generously seasoned the dish with salt and pepper.
  • David prepared this dish on our new induction burner and Le Creuset Saucier Pan.
  • He has worked with induction burners before and explained to me the need to be very careful not to burn the bottom of my pans because the induction burners cook much hotter than traditional gas stove tops.
  • You have to lower the heat a little and make sure you have enough cooking fat in the pan.

Making the Sauce

  • I started making the sauce by pouring out all but 1 tablespoon of the fat left in the pan I browned the rabbit in.
  • I then deglazed it with the 2 tablespoons of Port wine off the stove away from the flame.
  • While I went to get my kids ready for bed, David finished the sauce by adding the Craisins with the liquids they were soaking in plus the chicken stock.
  • He let this reduce to a nice, syrupy consistency, tasted and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • I'm surprised he didn't add a couple tabs of butter like they often do in restaurants to boost the flavor and give the sauce shine. Maybe he did when I was upstairs with the kids.
  • David plated the food by spooning some of the vegetable mixture onto the center of the plates and stacking 3 pieces of rabbit on top of the vegetables.
  • He then spooned some of the Craisin pomegranate sauce over top and served. The dish looked delicious but tasted even better.
  • We served a wonderful 2005 Magia Nera Estate wine from Koehler made from 65% Sangiovese and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Delightful.

Alternatives

  • There are lots of places in this recipe you could us alternative ingredients and I highly recommend you experiment at home and come up with your own combinations based on personal tastes.
  • Also, we made this dish with rabbit, but you could just as easily try it with chicken, turkey, pork or even duck or goose.