Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Braised Rabbit in Tomato-Wine Sauce
The dilemma was what to call it. "It" was a rabbit I'd braised in a wine and tomato broth to which mushrooms and pearl onions had also been added. I'd heard that rabbit tastes like chicken, so I decided to prepare it as I would a braised chicken. I had the ingredients I needed to make a sauce that resembled the one I use to make Chicken Marengo. I decided to go with that and, fortunately, it worked. Rabbit, by the way, doesn't taste like supermarket chicken. It's more like the dark meat of a free range chicken. It's not at all gamey and, while this will never be a favorite of mine, we'll have it again because Bob loves it. I'll be experimenting with sauces and techniques, so prepare yourselves for plethora of rabbit recipes. Bob was able to buy the rabbit at a local bodega that sells frozen game. Our rabbit was farm raised so I can't speak to the texture or flavor of a jackrabbit. This was really easy to prepare and comes recommended if you really want to cook a rabbit. I served it with rice pilaf. Polenta would also be a great accompaniment.
Braised Rabbit in Tomato-Wine Sauce with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions
1 2-1/2 to 3 pound rabbit, cut into pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup dry white vermouth
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
Parsley sprigs for garnish
1) Mist rabbit pieces with nonstick cooking spray. Season rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge if flour, shaking off excess.
2) Heat oil and two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add rabbit pieces and saute until golden, about 4 minutes per side.
3) Add tomato paste, garlic, vermouth, chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes, turning pieces once or twice.
4) Meanwhile, melt reserved 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan. Add onions, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and cook until lightly brown. Add mushrooms and brown.
5) Add onions and mushrooms to rabbit; cook, covered, for 15 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Transfer contents of skillet to a serving platter. Tent with foil to keep warm. Rapidly boil stock until thickened. Spoon over rabbit. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Yield: 4 servings.