Rabbit Braised in Lavender and Honey
Makes 4 servings Although you may not eat rabbit frequently, this dish is sure to make you a convert. The combination of the braised legs with the roasted loin and miniature chops is delicious and allows for total utilization of the rabbit, so there is no waste. If you’re not comfortable fabricating the whole rabbit…

CIA FOODIES


Rabbit Braised with Lavender and Honey

Makes 4 servings

Although you may not eat rabbit frequently, this dish is sure to make you a convert. The combination of the braised legs with the roasted loin and miniature chops is delicious and allows for total utilization of the rabbit, so there is no waste. If you’re not comfortable fabricating the whole rabbit yourself, just ask your butcher to do it for you. The lean meat is complemented by the flavors of the tomato, artichoke, and cipollini onions, making this a light dish that also feels hearty and comforting.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole rabbit, legs separated, loin boned, and 1-inch rack from each side
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 culinary-grade lavender sprig
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 cipollini onions, peeled
  • 2 artichokes, leaves removed, choke scooped out, and bottoms sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth, warmed
  • 1 cup dry rosé
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 8 halves Tomato Confit
  • Savory or other fresh herb, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and place in a dish on top of the lavender sprig. Set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature so that the flavor of the lavender permeates the meat.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place the rabbit loin in the pan and sear until browned on each side, about 4 minutes. Remove the loin from the pan and place it back on top of the lavender in a separate pan.
  4. Place the rabbit legs in the hot pan over medium heat and sear until browned on each side, about 4 minutes. Remove the legs from the pan and reserve.
  5. Place the cipollini onions in the pan over medium heat and cook until caramelized to a golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes. Remove the cipollini from the pan and reserve.
  6. Place the sliced artichokes in the pan over medium heat and cook until caramelized on each side, about 5 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pan and reserve.
  7. Place the diced onion and carrot in the pan and cook until caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add the celery, lemon zest, lavender sprig, and seared rabbit legs and rack chops back to the pan. Add the broth and rosé and increase the heat to establish a simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer until the rabbit legs are tender, about 30 minutes. (The meat should easily pull right off the bone.) Transfer the rabbit legs to a separate container and pull the meat off the bones; cover and reserve. Reserve the loin chops separately.
  8. Strain the cooking liquid, discard the solids, and return the liquid to the pan. Add the seared cipollini onions back to the strained liquid, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the honey and the caramelized artichoke slices. Add the leg meat and rack chops to the pan and continue cooking until the meat is heated through, about 3 minutes.
  9. Place the pan with the reserved rabbit loin in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 130°F. Remove the loin from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice the loin on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  10. To serve: Arrange the leg meat in the bottom of a serving platter and place the sliced loin off to one side. Spoon out the artichoke, cipollini, and tomato confit halves and place on the other side of the platter. Top with the little rack chops and sauce the entire platter. Garnish with sprigs of savory. Serve with the rest of the bottle of chilled rosé.

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