There is a debate as to whether serving rabbit during the year of the rabbit is a proper thing to do.
I will get back to that in a separate piece.
Today I share a recipe from London based chef Pascal Aussignac. If you missed it, read my interview with Pascal, Foie Gras, Fungi, Pig Heads and Recipes, Cuisinier Gascon(April 2010).
The team at Club Gascon recently opened Le Cigalon offering flavors from Provence where the following recipe is on the menu.
Here's Pascal 'Braised Rabbit Leg with Swiss Chard and Savory Jus'
Ingredients for 4 Peoples :
- 4 French Rabbit legs
- 100 gr of caul fat
- 50 gr of smoked anchovy fillet
- 1 Bunch of Swiss chard
- 1 Courgette
- 2 head of garlic
- 2 carrots
- 1 large onion
- 3 celery sticks
- 2 bouquet garni
- 1bunch savory
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1 bottle of white wine
- 1 large potato good for mash
- 2 egg yolks
- 100 gr flour
- Olive oil
- ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper
For the stuffing:
Cut the Swiss chard in half where the leaves start and chop the green part roughly, reserve the stalk part for the garnish. Cut the courgette in small cubes (0.5 cm) and mix with the Swiss chard leaves. Preheat a large sauce pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil on a low heat, peel and chop 4 large cloves of garlic and slice finely the smoked anchovy fillets.
Place the mix of courgette and Swiss chard leaves in the sauce pan cook gently until soft and the excess of water evaporate, add then the chopped garlic and the smoked anchovies keeping the pan on the heat, cook for 1 minute and season to your taste, reserve on a large tray to allow it to cool down as quick as possible.
For the rabbit:
Remove the thigh bone of each leg with the help of a narrow and sharp knife to ensure not to damage the thigh. Season each leg and stuff them with the cold chard mix.
Lay a square of caul fat on a chopping board, place a leg in a corner and wrap it tightly. Leave to set in the fridge for 30minutes.
Peel and roughly chop the onion, carrots and celery. Preheat an oven-proof casserole with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, add a knob of butter and sear the legs until golden brown. Take out the legs and add the chopped vegetables. When they are caramelised, put the legs back in the casserole, add the white wine, bring to the boil and reduce by half. Then add the chicken stock, 1head of garlic, 1 bouquet garni ,savory and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in a 150 degrees oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Take the rabbit out with care as they became very tender, strain the cooking liquid and reduce to a third. Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust.
For the garnish:
Peel and trim the swiss-chard stalk, cut it in 7 cm cook them in boiling salted water with the half lemon, the rest of the garlic, the bouquet garni and a little olive oil until tender. Allow to cool down in the cooking liquid.
Prepare the gnocchi:
Bake the potato at 180degrees until just cook. Peel and pass the flesh through a fine mesh tamis. Add some salt, the egg yolks and just enough flour to form a soft dough. Roll the dough into a sausage shape of about 1 cm in diameter on a well floured surface and cut small bite size pieces. Reserve on a floured tray and keep at room temperature with a clean cloth on top to ensure it doesn’t dry out before serving.
Time to serve:
Place the stuffed legs in a oven proof casserole just large enough to fit them, cover with the sauce and reheat in the oven at 180 degrees.
Preheat a frying pan on a low temperature, strain the Swiss chard from their cooking liquid, put a knob of butter in the pan and add the Swiss chards when the butter start to foam, cook until you get a light coloration.
Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water until they rise to the surface, drain using a slotted spoon.
Place the Swiss chard in the middle of the plates, add the rabbit legs on top, cover them generously with the sauce and finish by placing the gnocchi around. Serve while it’s hot.
If you give it a try, please let us know how it came out.