Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The only reason this rabbit found it's way into my kitchen in the first place was because of a quirky weekly challenge. The males of the household come home with a selection of random ingredients every Friday night, and I have about an hour to come up with and cook a meal using the ingredients. It keeps it interesting and forces me to use different ingredients and methods, and I get the little buzz of adrenalin I remember from working in commercial kitchens.
But this wascally wabbit didn't get used that week, I had NO idea what to do with it, I'd never cooked with it and never even eaten it before. Challenge F A I L E D. So into the freezer it went. And stayed. For months... and (you guessed it) months. Finally, faced with the challenge of selling a house, moving interstate and clearing out the stockpiles of food - it was time.
Inspired by Jamie Oliver - Queensland Fried Rabbit it is. So basically, the rabbit pieces are simmered for a couple of hours in a stock with rosemary, garlic and olive oil, until it's tender and moist. Then chilled overnight in the liquid. Next morning I made a stock from the roasted carcass. Come dinner time, it was just a matter of making a quick risotto with peas and Parmesan and crumbing and frying the rabbit pieces.
Rabbit will be a regular on the menu from now on. It's tender, juicy, not at all gamey and like all those "other" meats - tastes like chicken. Beefed up chicken.
Fried Rabbit with Rabbit and Pea Risotto
For the Fried Rabbit:
1 whole rabbit
1L chicken or vegetable stock
1 head of garlic
3 large stalks of rosemary
100ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup flour, seasoned
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs, seasoned
handful of thyme leaves, finely chopped
For the Rabbit and Pea Risotto:
1 rabbit carcass
pan juices from fried rabbit recipe
1 cup mirepoix (diced onion, carrot, celery)
1 onion, diced
500g arborio rice
2 cups peas
parmesan & butter to finish
Cut the rabbit up into pieces. Youtube has a great tutorial on doing this. In a frypan, add the rabbit, stock, garlic, rosemary, olive and salt and pepper. Simmer over a low heat for about an hour and half. The rabbit should be tender and soft, but not falling off the bone. Chill in the juices overnight or until cool.
Roast the rabbit carcass until lightly coloured. In a saucepan, add the carcass, pan juices and mirepoix with enough water to cover, and simmer for 2-3 hours. In this time, get the rabbit pieces floured, egged and crumbed in the breadcrumbs and thyme.
In a frypan, add some olive oil and butter and sweat off the onion until soft. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes to 'toast'. Add in the hot stock, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly until tender. Just before serving, stir in the parmesan and butter to taste. Taste and season well.
While the risotto is cooking, fry the crumbed rabbit pieces until just golden and heated through, about 6 minutes. Serve on top of the risotto with some fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.