Who ate Roger Rabbit - Braised leg of rabbit


Sage, rosemary, thyme and white wine braised rabbit legsRabbit legs have been somewhat of a long term cooking plan for me. My sister's husband once sent me an inspiring image of a skinned whole rabbit that my sister was going to cook for them for dinner. My sister doesn't send images or really communicate in any modern form whatsoever. I am sure there are a few messages in bottles on their way to me floating in the North sea. Hence the brotherly-in-law intervention.

I bought these two rabbit legs from Harrods a year ago on a shopping trip with girlfriends who rolled their eyes and went for the handbag department leaving me queueing for my mallard and rabbit legs.

I've never cooked rabbit before, so it's taken a while to pluck up the courage. Last week I finally decided I have to do this (because I was struggling to fit all my freshly acquired Finnish moose meat and other goodies in the freezer). So I decided to make a wonderful rustic rabbit paella for our Friday night dinner. Kind of like Paella Valenciana but without the snails. I can't cope with the tentacles, they freak me out. I once had a bit of a Julia Roberts moment with a pan of snails in a restaurant.

I was further inspired by a visit to the Borough market and the Spanish delicatessen Brindisa. The one that Barefoot Contessa visits in her London adventures I think - I couldn't find the episode in YouTube, just a weird Irish sounding unfunny guy in a wig pretending to be Ina and making fun of the American pronouniation of herbs.

I can live with erbs, but I do take issue with Aluminum.

Heirloom carrots at Borough Market
Heirloom carrots at Borough Market

Heirloom tomatoes at Borough Market
Pretty multicoloured heirloom tomatoes
This time I got lots of spices and herbs from Spice Mountain, mostly for my sister who I'm going to see shortly and who as indicated earlier is also crazy about cooking, and some for myself. From the gorgeous veggie stalls I got some girolles, heirloom tomatoes, funny coloured beets (Jamie Oliver always has them), some plump dates for husband and from Brindisa a couple of packs of chorizo and calasparra rice.

I thought the rabbit legs woud not cook to be nice and soft in the time it takes to cook the paella, so I decided to braise them ahead and then just take off the bone and cut and add to the paella on the night. So I braised them in herbs and white wine, cooled and put in the fridge to wait for our paella night. The next day in the office I saw husband coming home at lunch time in my spy family security app, which is not at all creepy, and didn't really think much more of it. In the evening I asked him if he'd found anything to eat for lunch. "I had the nice chicken", said husband happily.

Oh well, at least he enjoyed it. He was a bit appalled when he found out that instead of chicken I had fed him a small fluffy animal. I tried to argue my case and questioned how he can eat cute little chickins and cuddly baby lambs, baaa? "No problem", said husband.

Sage, rosemary, thyme and white wine braised rabbit legs

Herb and white wine braised rabbit legs

2 rabbit legs
1 small yellow onion
1 clove of garlic
1-2 stalks of celery
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
A handful of fresh sage leaves
(or teaspoon of dried thyme, sage and rosemary each)
100 ml white wine
1 cup of chicken stock

Preheat oven to 175C

Pat the rabbit legs dry and season with salt and pepper. Pick the leaves of the herbs and chop. Chop the celery and onion and mince the garlic.

Heat a tbsp of oil and a knob of butter in a ovenproof lidded pan or Dutch oven. Brown the legs for a few minutes on each side on high heat until nicely browned, transfer to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium and in the same pan sauté the onion and celery for a few minutes. Add the garlic and herbs and continue sautéing for another minute. Add the white wine and let it reduce for a minute or two. Return the legs and any juices in the pan and pour in chicken stock and add water so that the legs are 2/3 covered.

Bring to boil. Cover the pan and place in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until the meat is tender.

You can sieve the sauce and thicken it a little or use as it is. Either serve the legs as they are with the sauce and or use for a pie or a paella.

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