Lovely Kay Plunkett-Hogge of KayCooks fame has created an exclusive recipe especially for reader of Miss Whistle. We are of course undeserving. This is a coup. Rabbit is eaten more in England and France (and Spain) than it is in the US, but it is delicious, versatile and, as they say, tastes a little like chicken. Certainly I grew up in a house where rabbit was often on the menu. -- MsW
Rabbit with Cider, Saffron and Potatoes
Inspired, oddly, by a cod, cider, saffron and potatoes tapas dish. Feels a little Basque.
125ml cider (a note here: cider refers to what we in America call "hard cider" -- MsW)
a pinch of saffron
1 wild rabbit, jointed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml amontillado sherry
140ml chicken stock
7 new potatoes, halved
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
2. Steep the saffron in the 125ml cider for as long as possible, at least 20 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a heavy-based sauté pan over a medium heat, and brown the rabbit thoroughly. You will need to do this in batches. When all the pieces are browned, place them in a cast iron casserole with the potato.
4. Turn down the heat, then add the onion and celery to the pan and cook until soft. Add the garlic, and cook until soft and fragrant. Turn up the heat and add the amontillado. Bring it up to the boil, then add the cider and saffron mixture. Bring back to the boil again, and cook hard for a couple of minutes to remove the alcohol. Then pour everything over the rabbit and potatoes.
5. Add the stock and the remaining cider. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and braise in the oven for 50 minutes.
6. Remove the rabbit and potatoes and set aside on a serving plate. Pour the cooking liquor into a saucepan and reduce by a third. Add a third of the potatoes to the cooking liquor, and blitz to thicken. Stir in the chopped parsley, and pour over the rabbit. Serve at once.