I have mentioned before on this blog that I am a big fan of rabbit but it appears not many others are. If you have never tasted it, you should try it and, if you had wild rabbit as a kid and didn’t like it, give the farmed rabbits a go. Farmed rabbits are much milder than wild rabbits. You cannot get wild rabbits in Perth anymore because of the myxoma and calici viruses. Farmed rabbits, however, are readily available from butchers, though they are, invariably, frozen.
This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s first book, The Naked Chef. Rabbit is, normally, braised but in this recipe, it is pot-roasted quickly so I thought I would give it a go for something different. We really enjoyed it. Maus is not a big fan of rabbit (as I have mentioned before, she is a fussy bugger) but will happily eat the farmed ones. If I can’t convince you to give rabbit a try, the recipe would work equally well for chicken Marylands (leg and thigh portion with skin on).
The dish is started on the cooktop and then goes in the oven so make sure you use a pan that is suitable for both.
The first thing you need to do is cut up your rabbit. It is a bit harder to do than a chicken. I used a cleaver and a hammer – position the cleaver where you want the cut and give it a whack with the hammer. The rabbit should be cut into 4 leg portions and 4 saddle portions.
- 1 rabbit, cut into 8 pieces.
- 1 lemon
- salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 heaped tbs* chopped rosemary
- 1 heaped tbs* chopped thyme (or a generous tsp of dry thyme)
- olive oil
- about 3 tbs* butter
- 8 sage leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 large glass of white wine (I am not certain how much this is but I used about 175 mils)
*These are 15 mil tablespoons.
- Peel the lemon, roughly chop the peel and set aside.
- Squeeze the lemon and drizzle the juice over the rabbit pieces.
- Season the pieces generously with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the rosemary and thyme over the rabbit.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Heat some olive oil in a baking dish, add the rabbit pieces and any loose rosemary and thyme and fry them over a high heat for about 5 minutes or until the rabbit is golden brown. About halfway through, add the lemon zest, a tablespoon of butter and the sage leaves.
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute to soften but not colour.
- Add the white wine – let it sizzle for a minute or so.
- Put the dish in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
- Remove pan from the oven. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir it through the juices.
- Served with baked vegetables. Drizzle the juices over the rabbit.