Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rabbit Leg Confit

Few weeks ago I took upon myself making the rabbit leg confit following the recipe from the Girl and the Fig cookbook Plats Du Jour. The recipe is not for a beginner. As with other recipes that I have made from this book I had to guess few times since some instructions were missing or not clear.

I bought two whole rabbits from the Rain Shadow Meats Butcher Shop in Seattle. The recipe required only rabbit leg quarters but the store would not sell me just the legs. They cut the rabbits for me though. The other constraint was the amount of duck fat I was able to find. Not much, so I supplemented with the chicken stock. The cooking process is similar to making the duck confit. But rabbit is not as rich. Still dish came out tasty. Here is how I made it.

4 rabbit leg quarters
1/2 lb of duck fat
2 cups of chicken stock
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, some whole and some ground
1/2 of large yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 slices of prosciutto
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

For the sauce:
1/2 cup of red white
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 whole black peppercorn
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

Day 1: Rinse the rabbit legs in cold water and pat dry. In a small bowl combine thyme, onions and peppercorns. Generously rub legs with salt (about 2 tablespoons) and then with the thyme-onion-peppercorn mixture. Place in a glass bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 2: 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Take the rabbit legs from the fridge and wipe them clean with a damp paper towel. Assemble the legs in the ovenproof dish in one layer. Pour chicken stock and distributed duck fat on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2.5 hours. Take the rabbit out, let cool for about an hour. Remove the rabbit from the duck fat and transfer into a fridge to chill completely. This will take about 3 hours.

2. When you are finally ready to cook the rabbit preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Take the rabbit out of the fridge and wrap each leg with prosciutto (2 pieces per leg should be enough, even 1 would do).  Pour two tablespoons of olive oil in the ovenproof skillet and on medium high heat sear rabbit legs (the top side down) wrapped in prosciutto for about 3 minutes until prosciutto starts getting a nice brown color. Transfer the skillet into the oven and let bake for about 10 minutes until the rabbit has fully heated through.

3. While rabbit is cooking make the sauce. Combine red wine, pepper and thyme in a small pot and reduce by half over high heat. Strain the wine to remove the pepper and thyme. Pour wine back into the pot and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook on high heat until the sauce is reduced by a little more than half. Take of the heat and stir in the cold butter. The sauce came out a bit thin. So need to try something thicker next time.
4. To serve I roasted potatoes and carrots and made a green salad. All in all meal came out delicious.

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